Does ‘lack of injury’ on a rape survivor account for consent? Punjab and Haryana HC says so. In a diversion from the well-established laws, the Punjab and Haryana HC last week, conferred ‘consent’ on a survivor who alleged rape and didn’t have many injuries on her body. While ruling out the judgment, the court relied on the medical reports that showed no injuries on the survivor’s body. The report further indicated “chances of recent sexual intercourse with the prosecutrix.”

The men accused in the case were acquitted by a trial court in January last year. However, the woman’s father then filed an appeal against the acquittal of men in the rape case.

 

Key Takeaways:

  • The Punjab and Haryana HC last week conferred ‘consent’ on a survivor who alleged rape, citing lack of injuries as a reason.
  • The court relied on medical shreds of evidence which not only showed a lack of injury but also “chances of recent sexual intercourse with the prosecutrix”
  • The court went against the well-established laws in announcing this judgment as Supreme Court has already abandoned the need to show the presence of injuries on a rape survivor’s body.
  • Not only did the court rely on the medical piece of evidence, but it also showed skepticism regarding the girl’s abduction from a Jaagran, as reported by her family members.

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When Punjab & Haryana HC Went Against Well Established Laws

The men accused in the case were acquitted by a trial court in January last year. However, the woman’s father then filed an appeal against the acquittal of men in the rape case. According to the father, the four accused in the rape case abducted his daughter from a jaagran at knifepoint and then gang-raped her for two days in a jhuggi. The court, however, showed skepticism regarding the abduction of the girl from a crowded jaagran.

Moreover, as far as medical reports were concerned, the court observed, “In cross-examination, this medical expert has testified that no injury on the private part of the prosecutrix was noticed. Meaning thereby, the doctor did not find any injury on the person of the prosecutrix, from which, it can be inferred that she was a consenting party to the sexual intercourse.”

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Filed Rape Case In Order To Teach Men A Lesson

One of the accused in the case said during the trial that he was romantically involved with the girl. Now her family had filed a case in order to teach him a lesson. The men were acquitted by the trial court last year on the basis that “the prosecution had failed to prove the allegations beyond any reasonable doubt.”

“In cross-examination, this medical expert has testified that no injury on the private part of the prosecutrix was noticed. Meaning thereby, the doctor did not find any injury on the person of the prosecutrix, from which, it can be inferred that she was a consenting party to the sexual intercourse.”

While delivering its judgment in this case, the Punjab and Haryana HC went against the well-established laws in the sense, that the Supreme Court had long ago removed the need to show the presence of injuries on a rape survivor’s body. In fact, back in 2011, the Supreme Court set aside an Allahabad High Court ruling that had acquitted a rape accused, noting that the woman was “habitual to sexual intercourse”, and that no internal or external injury was found on her. In this case, the SC observed, “it is wrong to assume that in all cases of intercourse with the women against the will or without consent, there would be some injury on the external or internal part of the victim.”

Picture Credit: VK Singh and Company

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