(1.) The appellant was found guilty by the learned Sessions Judge, Mahalir Neethimadram (Fast Track Mahila Court), Thoothukudi, in
S.C.No.15 of 2014, dated 17.04.2015 for the offence punishable
under Section 366 IPC and Section 4 of POCSO Act, convicted and
sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and to
pay fine of Rs.1,000/- in default rigorous imprisonment for 6
months for the offence punishable under Section 366 IPC and also
convicted and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 10
years and to pay fine of Rs.2,000/- in default to undergo rigorous
imprisonment for six months for the offence punishable under
Section 4 of POCSO Act. The sentences were ordered to run
concurrently. As against the order dated 17.04.2015, passed by
the trial Court, the present appeal is filed.
(2.) The brief facts of the prosecution case, in a nutshell, are as follows:
2.1. Muthumari(P.W.2) is the daughter of Mariappan (P.W.1) and Thangamariammal(P.W.3) and she studied upto 10th standard in Vilathikulam, Government Higher Secondary School. The appellant/accused was resided opposite to the house of the victim girl and he is a married man, having four children. The victim girl(P.W.2) used to play with the accused's daughter, namely Gayathri and on one such occasion, on 20.04.2013, when the victim went to the house of the accused in search of Gayathri, no one was available in the house and at that time, the appellant/accused locked the door, embraced her, kissed her and also committed rape, after removing her cloths. The appellant/accused intimidated her that she should not reveal the same to anyone. He also promised her that he would marry her. Subsequently, on 02.05.2013, the accused called her and the victim girl by informing her mother that she is going to tailor shop, went to Vilathikulam Bus Stand, from there, the appellant/accused taken her to Kerala and stayed in their relative's house and there the appellant/accused had physical relationship with her. From Kerala, they went to Chennai and stayed there for two more months.
2.2. P.W.1, the father of the victim, was working as a coolie and he has gone to Udankudi on 02.05.2013 for a temple festival and returned only on 04.05.2013. After knowing that his daughter was missing, they searched her in their relatives house and thereafter, went to Vilathikulam Police Station on 15.05.2013 and lodged a complaint in Ex.P.1. Tmt.Thanalakshmi, then Sub Inspector of Police(P.W.13), Vilathikulam Police Station received the complaint and registered a case in crime No.53 of 2013 for the offence under Section 366 IPC and the printed First Information Report was marked as Ex.P.9. Thiru.Varatharajan, then Inspector of Police(P.W.14), Vilathikulam Police Station, took up the case for investigation, went to the place of occurrence and prepared observation mahazor(Ex.P.3) and rough sketch(Ex.P.10), in the presence of P.W.4 and another. He also recorded the statements of P.W.1, P.W3, P.W.4 and few others and after enquiry, found that the other accused, mentioned in the complaint Ex.P.1, did not have any role in the commission of offence, deleted their names. He also examined P.Ws.5, 6, 7 and recorded their statements. After his transfer, the further investigation was taken over by one Thiru.Kamaraj, the Inspector of Police(P.W.15), Vilathikulam Police Station. He formed a special team to trace the accused and the victim/P.W.1.
2.3. In the meantime, the father of the victim(P.W.1) has also filed a Habeas Corpus Petition before this Court in H.C.P.(MD)No. 596 of 2013. On 22.07.2013, on information, the respondent police went and arrested the appellant/accused in Vilathikulam Bus Stand at about 03.00 p.m., and they have also rescued the victim girl from the accused through the Sub Inspector of Police (P.W.13). The victim girl was also produced before this Court and also subjected to medical examination before Dr.Shobana (P.W.9), the Medical Officer working in Thoothukudi Government Medical College and Hospital. P.W.9 examined the victim girl on 27.07.2013, at about 11.30 a.m., and has recorded her observation that the victim girl's hymen was not intact and that her vagina admitted two fingers. The victim girl(P.W.2) told the Doctor(P.W.9) that she had sexual intercourse with known person for three months. The medical report of P.W.9 is marked as Ex.P.7. To ascertain the age of the victim girl, the Doctor(P.W.9) referred her to Radiological Department.
2.4. Dr.Saravanan, Radiologist(P.W.10), Government Medical College Hospital, Thoothukudi, examined the victim girl to determine her age and also issued the age certificate in Ex.P.8 that the victim girl is above 14 years and below 17 years of age.
2.5. The Investigation Officer (P.W.15) has also produced the appellant/accused for medical examination, after obtaining orders from the concerned Court. Dr.Manoharan (P.W.8), who is working as Assistant Professor in the Department of Forensic Science, Government Medical College Hospital, Thoothukudi, examined the appellant/accused on 01.08.2013 and issued a certificate in Ex.P.5 that there is nothing to suggest that the accused is impotent.
2.6. After examining the witnesses, the Investigation Officer(P.W.15) has also collected the School Transfer Certificate of the victim girl, which is marked as Ex.P.2 and examined the Doctors and collected the medical certificates and thereafter, filed the final report as against this appellant/accused for the offence under Section 366 IPC and Section 4 of POCSO Act.
(3.) During the trial, on the side of the prosecution, 15 witnesses were examined and 12 documents were marked and no
material object was marked. P.W.1 Mariappan is the father of the
victim girl, who set the law in motion and he speaks about the
complaint (Ex.P.1). P.W.2, Muthumari is victim child and she
narrated the occurrence, her physical relationship with the
appellant/accused. P.W.3, Thangamariammal is the mother of
victim and she speaks about the missing of her daughter from
04.05.2013 and the search made by them and the lodging of complaint(Ex.P.1). P.W.4 was examined for the observation
mahazor and P.W.5 and P.W.6 are residents of Keelavilathikulam,
who brought appellant's TVS 50 Mopet on 04.05.2013 from
Vilathikulam Bus Stand. P.W.7, Valliraj, is known to the accused
and according to him, the accused handed over the key of his TVS
50 Mopet to him on 04.05.2013 and made a request to hand over the same in his house. P.W.8 is the Doctor, who examined the
accused and issued medical certificate(Ex.P.5) and P.W.9 is the
Doctor, who examined victim girl and issued medical certificate
(Ex.P.7). P.W.10 is the Radiologist, who issued the age certificate
(Ex.P.8) for the victim girl. P.Ws.11 and 12 are the Constable, who
produced the accused and the victim child for medical examination
respectively. P.W.13 is the then Sub Inspector, who registered the
case in Crime No.53 of 2013 on 15.05.2013 and also rescued the
victim girl on 22.07.2013 from Vilathikulam Bus Stand. P.W.14 is
the Inspector of Police, who conducted preliminary investigation
and P.W.15 is the Inspector of Police, who conducted further
investigation and filed the final report.;