19 years on, constable acquitted of rape, but convicted for unnatural sex | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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19 years on, constable acquitted of rape, but convicted for unnatural sex

mumbai Updated: May 18, 2011 00:44 IST
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Nineteen years after two constables Machhindra Chavan (then 38 years old) and Balu Sangle (then 32 years old) had compelled a woman to perform oral sex, the Bombay high court offered some reprieve by acquitting them of rape charge.

The court, however, found Chavan guilty of committing unnatural offence and sentenced him to five years of rigorous imprisonment. But considering the years that have elapsed, the court reduced Chavan’s sentence from five years to that already undergone by him as an undertrial — one-and-a-half years and increased the penalty, from Rs300 to Rs10,000.

Justice RC Chavan said, “As the appellant had been living in the shadow of the conviction all along, it may be appropriate to reduce the sentence to that already undergone.”

Chavan and Sangle, who were posted at the Deccan Gymkhana police station at Pune, were arrested on April 1, 1992, for taking a woman to a secluded place and forcing her to perform oral sex. The Pune sessions court had sentenced both of them to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment on charges of rape and criminal intimidation, following which Chavan and Sangle approached the high court.

The public prosecutor YM Nakhwa said that on April 1, 1992, the constables found a woman in Chandni Chowk in Pune. Under the pretext of dropping her at a bus station, they took her to a house and forced her to perform oral sex. Some boys heard her cries and rescued her. Nakhwa told the court that one of the boys took away Chavan’s trousers, following which he wrapped himself in the victim’s sari.

Defence advocates Manoj Mohite and Uday Warunjikar, however, argued that the woman had tried to falsely implicate the two. The court held Chavan guilty of indulging in unnatural sex under Section 377 of the IPC.