PHOOL CHAND Vs. SMT. JAI DEVI
HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
Smt. Jai Devi
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(1.)THIS is a defendants second appeal from the decree of the IInd Temporary Civil Judge of Farrukhabad awarding the plaintiff-respondent damages for assault and battery. The plaintiff, Smt. Jai Devi alleged that on 22nd August 1959 the defendant entered the plaintiffs house and caught hold of her arm and dragged her with the intention of committing sexual intercourse with her. She contended that the defendant by this act had committed the tort of battery and claimed a sum of Rs. 1,000 as damages. The defendant resisted the suit and denied that he had assaulted or attempted to assault the plaintiff, or that he ever went to the house of the plaintiff on the alleged date. His version was that the plaintiffs husband and his companions had beaten him and then filed
this complaint to counteract any complaint by the defendant.
(2.)THE trial Court did not believe the plaintiffs story and dismissed the suit. On appeal the learned Judge disagreed with the trial Courts assessment of the evidence and held that the plaintiff and her witnesses had told the truth. He allowed the appeal and awarded the plaintiff a sum of Rs. 600 as damages against the defendant who has come to this Court in second appeal.
I have read the judgments of the Courts below and perused the grounds of appeal. I think there is no substance in this appeal. The first three grounds are directed against the amount of damages, and it is contended that the appellate Court should have determined the status of the plaintiff and not fixed the amount of damages arbitrarily. It is also contended that the Court should have taken into account, the fact that the defendant appellant was fined Rs. 75 by the Panchayati Adalat in the criminal case which arose out of the same incident. I do not think that there is any substance in these contentions. The plaintiffs status was known to the Court, as it is on record that she is the wife of a peon in Government service. Moreover, in a case where a man drags a woman for the purpose of committing sexual intercourse, the amount of damages has to be assessed at the discretion of the Court, which of course must be judicially exercised. The damages awarded to the wronged woman are not as compensation for any injury as there is no injury, but for mental pain and shock. There is no known method of calculating the money value of the pain and anguish caused to a woman who is dragged by a ruffian for the purpose of assaulting her. The damages have to be arbitrary in one sense, though not in the judicial sense. In this case. I do not think a sum of Rs. 600 is excessive.
(3.)THE argument that the Court below should have taken into account the fine inflicted on the appellant cannot be taken seriously. The fine is payable to the State whereas the damages are payable to the person who is a victim of the assault.
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