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All persons abetting rape convicted for gang rape

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Pramod Mahto and Ors. v State Of Bihar/ Citations: AIR 1989 SC 1475, 1989 CriLJ 1479, JT 1989 (3) SC 494

The facts of the case were that the four appellants and one Umesh Mahto (accused No. 5) besides 11 others who were acquitted were charged under Sections 380 and 376 read with Section 149 IPC for having entered the house of the victims and committing rape on them and thereafter removing cash and valuables from the house on the night of 16/17 of March, 1984. The prosecution case was that while accused Nos. 6 to 16 stood outside the house, accused Nos. 1 to 5 entered the house through the roof after dismantling a portion of it and thereafter accused Nos. 1 to 4 committed rape on the victims while accused No. 5 stood guard over them with a gun in his hands in order to overawe them and make them submit to the rape committed on them without protest.

In this case the SC upheld the conviction of the four accused though it did not change the punishment of life imprisonment on the primary accused and the last accused, who pointed gun towards the victims so that they could submit and did not raise alarm, was punished with only two years of rigourous imprisonment by the High Court. Sentence of other three accused were reduced from life imprisonment to ten years rigourous imprisonment.

Herein only this could be proved that the rape was committed on one unmarried girl and medical evidence did not show that the married women were also subjected to rape by the accused persons. The Court observed that once it was established that the appellants had acted in concert and entered the house of the victims and thereafter raped the said victim, then all of them would be guilty under Section 376 IPC in terms of Explanation I[1] to Clause (g) of Sub-section (2) of Section 376 IPC irrespective of whether she had been raped by one or more them.

The Court further observed that this Explanation had been introduced by the legislature with a view to effectively deal with the growing menace of gang rape. Further, in such circumstances, it is not necessary that the prosecution should adduce clinching proof of a completed act of rape by each one of the accused on the victim or on each one of the victims where there are more than one in order to find the accused guilty of gang rape and convict them under Section 376 IPC.

Pramod Mahato vs State of Bihar -1989

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