Decided on December 17,2019

Bishal Chhetri Alias Bikki Biswakarma Alias Prakash Rai Appellant


JOYMALYA BAGCHI,J. - (1.) Appellant is represented by his learned Counsel. Hence, Ms. Sreyashee Biswas, learned Counsel appointed on behalf of the State Legal Services Authority is discharged. Her contribution is appreciated.
(2.) The appeal is directed against the judgment and order dated 09.12.2013 and 10.12.2013 passed by the learned Additional District and Sessions Judge, Kurseong, Darjeeling in Sessions Case No. 37 of 2010 convicting the appellant for commission of offence punishable under Sections 376/366 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 5 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956 and sentencing him to suffer life imprisonment for the offence punishable under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and pay a fine of Rs.2,000/- in default, to suffer further rigorous imprisonment for six months more for the offence punishable under Section 366 of the Indian Penal Code and to suffer rigorous imprisonment for seven years and pay a fine of Rs.2000/- in default, to suffer further rigorous imprisonment for six months more for the offence punishable under Section 5 of Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act.
(3.) Prosecution case, as alleged against the appellant and other accused persons viz. Sangita Chhetri and Jamuna Thapa is to the effect that the appellant posed as an army man and proposed marriage to the victim. Victim initially did not agree. However, the appellant persistently telephoned her requesting the latter to meet him. Finally, the victim met the appellant at Kurseong town on 02.07.2010 along with her friend, Chunnu Subba (P.W. 5). The appellant wanted to talk with the victim in private. As a result P.W. 5 left the spot. He requested the victim to accompany him to Siliguri. Initially she was reluctant. However, on the request of co-accused Sangita Chhetri, sister-in-law of the appellant, over phone, she agreed to accompany the appellant to Siliguri. At Siliguri the victim was introduced to Sangita who told her to stay with the appellant for the night in the hotel and assured her on the next day they would talk regarding arrangements of her marriage with the appellant. That night against her will the appellant committed rape on her in the hotel. On the next day, Sangita told the victim that she would take her to Pune to meet the elder sister of the appellant. At Pune the victim was kept in a brothel and was sexually exploited. In the meantime, Chunnu reported the matter to P.W. 1, Man Singh Gurung, father of the victim. P.W. 1 and others searched for the victim but to no avail. An enquiry revealed that the appellant had contacted the victim through two phone numbers i.e. 9563270871 standing in the name of one Bishal Chhetri of Padhan Nagar, Siliguri, (cousin of the appellant), and 9547837235 standing in the name of one Banu Khatun, daughter of Md. Mahoddin Harsiden Khatun of Mary View T.E. Turba, Gaziram, Naxalbri. Finally he approached a local NGO viz. Kanchanjunga Uddar Kendra, Siliguri, and came to know that Banu Khatun was a habitual woman trafficker. Under such circumstances, P.W. 1 lodged written complaint with Kurseong Police Station resulting in registration of F.I.R. No. 111 of 2010 dated 15.07.2010 under Section 365 of the Indian Penal Code. Police officers attached to Kurseong Police Station along with representative of the aforesaid NGO (P.W. 15) and others proceeded to Pune and finally recovered the victim girl from a brothel owned by one Jamuna Thapa. Victim was medically examined and her statement was recorded under Section 164 of the Indian Penal Code.;

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