HC upholds sentence to husband-wife duo for rape of minor

HC upholds sentence to husband-wife duo for rape of minor
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Srinagar: The High Court on Thursday upheld a trial court’s 2003 conviction of a husband wife duo for kidnapping and rape of a minor girl.
Justice M K Hanjura upheld the verdict of additional sessions judge Srinagar against Bashir Ahmad Matoo and his wife Dilshada.
Dismissing the objections raised by the petitioners like the time gap between the crime and its reporting, and other technicalities, the court said that the judges, “in such cases, cannot take shelter behind the legalisms or eristic disputations. Delay in lodging the FIR in such cases can be understood and it cannot be held to be fatal to the prosecution. Holding so will be adding insult to the injury.”
“The learned trial court has touched all the aspects of the case extensively- be that the effect of the delayed FIR in the case, the effect of inconsistencies in the statements of the witnesses which have been rightly brushed aside, the argument that the accused husband could not have indulged in the horrifying crime of rape in presence of his wife, the recovery of the minor from the house of the accused and above all where the medical evidence confirms the rape. It is therefore imperative that rape has took place and trial court’s judgement stands upheld,” Justice Hanjura said.
Case: On 25 May, 2003, the mother of the minor lodged a complaint with police station Khanyar that her daughter had been missing for six days after she left home to offer prayers at the Shrine Dastageer Sahib. She reported that she has learned that Bashir Ahmad Matoo, with the connivance of his wife, Dilshada has “by deceitful means, enticed/ kidnapped her with the intention to commit rape upon her”.
An FIR was lodged at PS Khanyar for the commission of offences under Sections 363, 366A, 376 and 109 RPC. On the completion of the investigation, a charge sheet, for the commission of offences under Section 363 and 376 RPC and for the commission of offences under Section 366A and 109 RPC was laid against the accused duo.
The additional sessions judge in its judgment on April 28, 2014, held Matoo guilty of offences punishable under Sections 376, 363, 109 RPC and her wife Dilshada was found guilty of offences punishable under Sections 366-A, 363, 376, 109 RPC. Both were convicted and sentenced to undergo imprisonment for a period of 10 years and a fine of Rs. 10,000/- under Section 376(1) RPC, in default of the payment of fine, he was directed to undergo simple imprisonment for six months. The accused was also sentenced to undergo imprisonment of 3 years and 6 months and a fine of Rs. 5,000/- for offences under Sections 363, 109 RPC. In default of the payment of fine, he was directed to undergo simple imprisonment of two months. The accused Dilshada, was convicted and sentenced to undergo imprisonment of ten years under Sections 366(A) RPC and a fine of Rs. 10,000/- was also imposed upon her and, in default of the payment of fine, she was directed to undergo further simple imprisonment of six months. The accused was also sentenced to undergo imprisonment of seven years under Section 363 RPC and a fine of Rs. 5,000/- was also imposed upon her and, in default of the payment of fine, she was directed to undergo simple imprisonment for a further period of two months.
Further, she was also sentenced to undergo imprisonment of 3 years 6 months under Sections 376, 109 RPC and a fine of Rs. 2,000/- and, in default of the payment of fine, she was directed to undergo simple imprisonment of one month. All these sentences, on both the convicts, were directed to run concurrently.

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