Budhadev Karmaskar Vs
State of West Bengal
O R D E R
Heard learned counsel
for the appellant. This Appeal has been filed against the impugned judgment and
order dated 25th July, 2007 passed by the High Court of Calcutta in C.R.A. No.
487 of 2004. The facts have been set out in the impugned judgment and hence we
are not repeating the same here except wherever necessary. This is a case of
brutal murder of a sex worker. Sex workers are also human beings and no one has
a right to assault or murder them. A person becomes a prostitute not because
she enjoys it but because of poverty. Society must have sympathy towards the
sex workers and must not look down upon them. They are also entitled to a life
of dignity in view of Article 21 of the Constitution.
In the novels and stories
of the great Bengali Writer Sharat Chand Chattopadhyaya, many prostitutes have been
shown to be women of very high character, e.g., Rajyalakshmi in 'Shrikant',
Chandramukhi in 'Devdas' etc. The plight of prostitutes has been depicted by
the great Urdu poet Sahil Ludhianvi in his poem 'Chakle' which has been sung in
the Hindi film Pyasa "Jineh Naaz Hai Hind Perwo kahan hain"
(simplified version of the verse 'Sana Khwan-e-taqdees-e-Mashrik Kahan Hain'). We
may also refer to the character Sonya Marmelodov in Dostoyevsky's famous novel
'Crime and Punishment'. Sonyais depicted as a girl who sacrifices her body to
earn some bread for her impoverished family. Reference may also be made to
Amrapali, who was a contemporary of Lord Buddha.
In the present case,
the incident happened on 17thSeptember, 1999 at about 9.15 p.m. The deceased
Chayay Rani Pal alias Buri was living in a red light area and was a resident of
Room No.8 of Premises No.19, Jogen Dutta Lane in Calcutta. She was evidently a
sex worker. The appellant Budhadev kicked her with fists and legs, and she fell
down on the floor. The appellant then caught her by her hair and banged her
head against the floor and the wall several times which left the victim
bleeding from her ear, nose and head. The incident was witnessed by four
persons, Pw Abida, PW4-Maya, PW7-Asha and PW8-Parvati. PW2-Abida has deposed
that she saw the appellant accused catching the victim by her hair and banging
her head against the wall.
The victim was
profusely bleeding through her nose and mouth. On seeing this, Abida started
shouting and then the accused pushed her and went down and fled away.PW8-Parvati
saw the victim being mercilessly beaten by the accused-appellant, and the same
is the evidence of PW7-Asha.In the post mortem, as many as 11 injuries on the
body of the victim were found, eight of which were on various parts of the face
and forehead. The police was informed about the incident over the telephone as
is evident from the testimony of PW2 Abida. After the police arrived on the
spot, sample of the blood spilled from the body of the victim was collected and
The victim was
brought by Asha Khatoon and others to the hospital where she was found 'dead on
arrival'. Blood was oozing out from her ear and nostril. There was swelling on
the left eyeball and left eyebrow. Thus, the medical evidence corroborates the ocular
testimony. PW10-Dr. Amitava Das, the Medical Officer who held the post mortem
examination of the dead body of deceased Chhaya Rani Pal found the following
injuries on her person:
1" x = " over the nose just below the nasal bridge.
= " x = " over left side forehead = " above left eyebrow 3"
left to midline.
= " x = " over left side of forehead just over the left eye
brow 2" left mid line.
2" x 1" over left upper eye lid.
2" x 1" over anterior aspect of mid part of nose.
= " x < " over right side of forehead 1" above right eye brow
2" right to mid line.
2" x 1" over right side of face just below the right eye and just
right to outer canthus of right eye.
wound = " x < " x scalp over left partial region 4 = " left
to anterior mid line and 2" below left parietal eminence.
3" x = " over posteriorateral aspect of right forehead 1" below
1" x = " over anterior medial aspect of lower part of right forearm
1" above right wrist.
4" x 3" over upper part of posterior aspect of right thigh 7"
above right knee joint.
On dissection, the Doctor
found the following injuries:
3 = " x 2" in the scalp tissue over right frontal region.
3 = " x 2" in the scalp tissue over left frontal region.
3 = " x = " in the scalp tissue over left partial region.
fracture 3" long more or loss longitudinal over left parietal temporal bone.
2" x 1" in the scalp tissue over right parietal region.
hemorrhage present involving the right parietal and temporal lobe.
wound = " (half) x < " x substance over right parietal lobe of
The abrasions were
non-scabbed and red in colour. The bruises were dark red in colour. The margins
of the lacerated wounds were irregular and red in colour. All the injuries
showed signs of vital reactions. No other injury except those described could
be detected even on careful dissection and examination. PW10 Dr. Amitava Das, Medical
Officer of MauzaBurdwan Medical College, opined that the death was due to the
effect of the injuries as noted anti-mortem in nature; that all the injuries as
noted in the post mortem examination report might be caused if a person pushed against
the wall and it may be homicidal in nature." The injuries above-mentioned
show the brutality of the crime.
The head of the
deceased was battered again and again in a hideous and barbaric manner. The
trial Court has rightly convicted the appellant under Section 302 IPC and
sentenced him to life imprisonment and the High Court has not committed any
error in upholding the conviction and sentence imposed by the trial Court. We
find no reason to disbelieve the testimony of the eye witnesses in this case,
namely, PW2, PW7 and PW8 which corroborates the medical evidence. The
appellant-accused has committed murder in a brutal manner of a helpless woman
and deserves no sympathy from this Court.
For the reasons given
above, this appeal is dismissed. Although we have dismissed this Appeal, we
strongly feel that the Central and the State Governments through Social Welfare
Boards should prepare schemes for rehabilitation all over the country for physically
and sexually abused women commonly known as prostitutes as we are of the view
that the prostitutes also have a right to live with dignity under Article 21 of
the Constitution of India since they are also human beings and their problems also
need to be addressed. As already observed by us, a woman is compelled to indulge
in prostitution not for pleasure but because of abject poverty.
If such a woman is
granted opportunity to avail some technical or vocational training, she would
be able to earn her livelihood by such vocational training and -6-skill instead
of by selling her body. Hence, we direct the Central and the State Governments to
prepare schemes for giving technical/vocational training to sex workers and
sexually abused women in all cities in India. The schemes should mention in
detail who will give the technical/vocational training and in what manner they
can be rehabilitated and settled by offering them employment. For instance, if
a technical training is for some craft like sewing garments, etc. then some arrangements
should also be made for providing a market for such garments, otherwise they
will remain unsold and unused, and consequently the women will not be able to
We propose to have
the response of the Centre and the States in this regard and hence the case shall
be listed before us again on 04.05.2011 to be taken up as first case on which date
the first compliance report indicating therein the first steps taken by the
Central and the State Governments in this regard shall be submitted. Issue
notice to the Central Government and all the State Governments which will also
file responses by the date fixed for hearing.
[GYAN SUDHA MISRA]