New Delhi:- Judgment Overview
COURT NAME:- Supreme Court of India (Division Bench (DB)- Two Judge)
CASE NAME:- The State of Maharashtra & Anr. Versus Dr. Maroti s/o Kashinath Pimpalkar Appeal (Crl.), 1874 of 2022,
JUDGEMENT DATE:- Nov 02, 2022
INDIAN PENAL CODE, 1860
CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, 1973 (CrPC)
Section 376 – Punishment for rape,
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
C.T. RAVIKUMAR, J.
- Leave granted.
- This Court in Shalu Ojha v. Prashant Ojha observed: “This is an unfortunate case where the
provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 are rendered simply a pious hope of
the Parliament and a teasing illusion for the appellant”. Even while, borrowing those words, we may say, we are
not peeved, but certainly pained, as a legitimate prosecution under another Act viz., the Protection of
Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (for short “POCSO Act”), has been throttled at the threshold by the
exercise of power under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (for short ‘Cr.P.C.’), without
permitting the materials in support to it to see the light of the day in respect of misprision of sexual assault against
minor tribal girls in a girls’ hostel. As per the impugned judgment, the High Court of Judicature at Bombay,
Nagpur Bench in Criminal Application (APL) No.841 of 2019 dated 20.04.2021 quashed FIR No.185 of 2019
dated 12.04.2019 of Rajura Police Station and the final report filed thereon under Section 173(2), Cr.P.C. qua the
Respondent. The raison d’etre for the said opening remarks would be unraveled by the factual narration and
the legal analysis to be made hereinafter.
The stated chargesheet was laid on investigation in FIR No.185/2019 registered at Rajura Police Station, Distt.
Chandrapur, for the offences under Section 376AB of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 4 and 6 of POCSO Act,
Section 3(1)(w) and 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and
Section 3 of the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori
Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013. We may hasten to add that it was filed under those Sections against the first
five accused and in fact, the Respondent herein was arraigned as the 6th accused thereunder, essentially for
the failure to report the commission of the offence under the POCSO Act (then, of course by unknown persons), in
compliance with the legal obligation under Section 19 (1) of POCSO Act, punishable under Section 21 (1) thereof.
The stated FIR came to be registered against unidentified person(s) on the accusation of commission of
sexual offences against minor tribal girls who were students of Infant Jesus English Public High School, Rajura
residing in its girls’ hostel. The complaint was lodged by one Rajesh Tulsidas Dhotkar, Assistant Project Officer,
Integrated Tribal Development Project, Chandrapur. According to the appellant, on 06.04.2019 the said officer
received a telephonic information from Chhaban Pandurang Pachare, the Superintendent of the said hostel
which is under the control of the Integrated Tribal Development Project, Chandrapur that one girl studying in
the 3rd standard and another studying in the 5th standard, of the said school were not keeping well. Immediately,
he visited the hospital where they were admitted. Later, he received letter No. 3392/2019 dated 10.02.2019
revealing that the students were shifted from Rural Hospital Rajura to General Hospital, Chandrapur owing to
their deteriorating health condition. From the General Hospital, Chandrapur a medical certificate was issued to
the effect that there is suspicion of sexual abuse. Thereupon, the Project Officer, Integrated Tribal
Development Project, Chandrapur authorised him to lodge the complaint and accordingly, it was laid. We may state
at this juncture that going by Criminal Application (APL) No.841/2019, filed along with the present Appeal as
Annexure-P3, the parents of the victims were not happy with the investigation in the crime and they filed . continue reading to download the full Judgement
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