Calcutta High Court Refuses to Quash a Case Against a Judicial Officer Accused of Raping a Litigant

The Calcutta High Court refused to quash a case against a judicial officer accused of raping a litigant.

Background 

The revision is against an order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, wherein the court has taken cognizance on submission of charge sheet for offence punishable u/s 376 (2)(f)/417/506/166/120B of the Indian Penal Code against the petitioner accused.

The petitioner’s case was that he is a member of the West Bengal Judicial Service and at the time of the alleged incident he was posted at Haldia, as Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate. It is his case that he was a victim of conspiracy where the opposite party/Complainant filed the case against him in which charge sheet has been submitted and cognizance has been taken erroneously.  

Arguments 

Advocate A. K. Dutta, appearing for the Petitioner, submitted that the Complainant obtained a collusive decree of divorce from her husband and subsequently in Oct 2015 registered her earlier marriage with her husband Palash Roy under the Hindu Marriage Act, by suppressing the fact of divorce.

He contended that the Magistrate took cognizance without applying his Judicial mind. The Magistrate did not consider that if a woman continues to be in a physical relationship with a man despite the uncertainty of marriage, she cannot claim that she has been raped on a false promise of marriage and that consensual sex with false promise to marry, is not rape.

Advocate Kaushik Gupta, appearing for the complainant, submitted that the complainant has been exploited by the petitioner, who holds a responsible post being a Judicial Officer.

He contended that the petitioner refused to marry the complainant and threatened to kill her and her son. 

He further submitted that the petitioner being an influential person has exploited the complainant by misusing his position, and the complainant being a helpless lady with a minor son seeks the protection of law and the revisional application if allowed would be an abuse of process of law. 

Saibal Bapuli, Advocate for the State, submitted that the investigating officer in the case has collected sufficient evidence against the petitioner which includes SMS messages sent to the complainant by the petitioner.   

Decision

The single judge bench of Justice Shampa Dutt (Paul) noted that the investigation in the case was extensive and several important/incriminating evidence has been collected by the investigating officer, which includes SMS, Messages, statements recorded U/s 161 Cr.P.C., details of places where the complainant and the petitioner had physical relationship.  

“The Criminal proceedings in this are based on trust. The complainant put her trust and belief in the petitioner, who held an important post in the Judiciary. Being in a position of influence (Complaint’s case was pending before the petitioner), the complainant put her trust in the petitioner and believed such assurance continued in the relationship hoping that it would result in marriage” the court said. 

The court held that the material in the case diary is sufficient making out a clear case of cognizable offence against the petitioner.  

It was observed by the court that there is substance in the allegations and material exists to prima facie make out the complicity of the applicant/petitioner in a cognizable offence, which is triable by a court of sessions and as such the proceedings in the case should not be quashed and this is a fit case where the inherent powers of the Court should not be exercised.  

Case title: Sri Biswajyoti Chatterjee v/s The State of West Bengal & Anr.

Citation: CRR 1550 of 2020

Date: 21.11.2022 

Click here to read the Order/Judgment 

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