Rajesh Mulchand Jain v. State of Maharashtra

Pragya AgrawalCase Summary

Rajesh Mulchand Jain v. State of Maharashtra

Rajesh Mulchand Jain v. State of Maharashtra
In the High Court of Bombay
C.A. 575/2016
Before Justice Sadhana S. Jadhav
Decided on May 06, 2016

Relevancy of the case: Application to suspend substantive sentences for sexual assault of minors and showing pornographic content to them

Statutes and Provisions Involved

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 (Sections 67, 77B)
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (Sections 354, 506)
  • The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Section 389)
  • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (Sections 8, 10, 12)

Relevant Facts of the Case

  • The applicant, a jeweller, on multiple occasions, called the victim, who is an eight-year-old female minor, along with her friends, and showed her obscene pornographic content and sexually abused them. 
  • The victim talked to her teacher about the incident, who later informed the same to a member of the Aasara organisation. This information was consequently relayed to the International Justice Mission (IJM).
  • They also informed the Assistant Commissioner of Police, who then by oral order nominated some police officers to follow the investigation. 
  • After meeting the victims, the police officers along with the personnel from IJM, led them to a hospital for medical examination as they were doubtful of the allegations which were raised by the victims. 
  • At the hospital, one of the victims informed the doctor that a known person had inappropriately touched her in the past week. All of these examinations were done before any formal complaint was lodged and the victim was sent for vaginal swabs even though the complaint was only for inappropriate touch.
  • The statements which were gathered from the victims were also not documented.
  • The police took the three minor victims into police custody and sent them to a child corrective home for more than a month without informing their parents.

Opinion of the Bench

  • It was noted by the bench that a lot of allegations were not proved against the accused and the witnesses were not questioned by the prosecution. 
  • The Court was of the belief that in such cases, the NGOs take on the role of police officials even though there is a separate social service branch. It was further noted that in similar cases, the majority of the orders by the Commissioner of Police were given orally and investigation would start even before a complaint is recorded.
  • The Court also observed that it should be the independent responsibility of the police department to ensure that the NGOs should not be seen as a substitute for the police department in such cases. 

Final Decision

  • Bail granted, subject to certain conditions.
  • Substantive sentences revoked.