In order to establish the prosecution case, apart from examining PW-1, father of the victim, PWs-3 and 4 who accompanied the policemen to Bombay, victim herself was examined as PW-2. In her evidence, she informed that at the time of occurrence in 1997 she was studying in 6th standard and her date of birth is 31.07.1985. She also narrated how these accused persons took her to Bombay on the assurance that they would get a job for her. She also explained that after reaching Bombay, A-2 and A-3 had sold her for a sum of Rs. 5,000/-. She informed the Court that A-1 used to purchase girls and engage them for immoral purposes. She asserted that A-1 used to engage her daily for prostitution against her wish. Medical Report dated 28.08.1997 (Annexure P-2) clearly shows that she is below 18 years of age. From her date of birth, it can easily be presumed that at the time of occurrence i.e. in 1997, she was below 18 years. Her father, PW-1, also explained how his daughter was taken to Bombay and the agony undergone by her. PWs 3 and 4, both accompanied the policemen to Bombay were examined as panch witnesses. Considering the prosecution witnesses, particularly, PW-2,
whose statement and assertion are acceptable, the High Court rightly confirmed the conviction and enhanced the sentence to 7 years with a fine of Rs. 50,000/- each. Though learned counsel for the appellants pleaded for leniency in view of the conduct of the accused/appellants in taking a minor girl to a far away place, namely, Bombay and sold her for illegal and immoral purposes, we feel that it is not a fit case for reduction of sentence. In a case of this nature, it is just and proper that a deterrent sentence is to be imposed on the accused. 6) Looking from any angle and considering the fact that the victim was below 18 years as on the date of occurrence, the sentence of 7 years with a fine of Rs. 50,000/- awarded by the High Court is quite reasonable and acceptable.
Supreme Court of India
Manjappa vs State Of Karnataka on 8 September, 2010