Y. K. Sabharwal, J. -
(1.)It is necessary for the courts to have a sensitive approach when dealing with cases of child rape. The effect of such a crime on the mind of the child is likely to be lifelong. A special safeguard has been provided for children in the Constitution of India in Article 39 which, inter alia, stipulates that the State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing that the tender age of the children is not abused and the children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and conditions of freedom and dignity and that the childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment. In the present case, the victim at the time of occurrence of rape was a child aged eight years. The accused was youth aged 18 years. The Additional District and Sessions Judge found him guilty for offence under Section 376, Indian Penal Code and imposed rigorous imprisonment for seven years and fine of Rs. 1,000/- and in default of payment of fine to further undergo six months' rigorous imprisonment. The High Court by the impugned judgment dated 14th November, 1995 giving to the accused the benefit of doubt acquitted him. The State is in appeal on grant of special leave.
(2.)The house of the accused is quite close to that of the prosecutrix. The incident of rape is said to have taken place on 19th March, 1989 in a village. The FIR was registered on 20th March, 1989. The medical examination of the prosecutrix also took place on 20th March, 1989. The prosecution to bring home the charge against the accused examined 14 witnesses including the parents of the prosecutrix, her brother, aunt, four doctors, police officials besides the prosecutrix. The respondent-accused was held guilty of the offence by the trial court primarily relying upon the testimony of the father of prosecutrix (PW-1), mother (PW-2), the prosecutrix (PW-5) and Dr. Harsh Chand Jain (PW-11).
(3.)The testimony of PW-2 is that her daughter had gone to the house of Sita Singh to take therefrom butter milk. Accused is the son of Sita Singh. When she did not return for a long time, PW-2 went to see her in the said house. When she went to that house, the door was closed which she pressed open. There she found that her daughter was lying naked on a cot and the accused was lying over him penetrating his penis into her vagina. On seeing this she shouted. Whereupon leaving her daughter, the accused ran away. She found her daughter totally unconscious. She lifted her and brought her back home. At that time, husband and brother-in-law of PW-2 had gone to another village. Her daughter gained consciousness at the time of sunset. She deposed that Om Prakash, the respondent, was alone at home. Next day a report was lodged with the police. She also deposed in her cross-examination that earlier too her daughter used to bring butter milk from the house of Sita Singh.