The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently upheld the acquittal of an accused rapist on the grounds that it seems to be a clear case of consent. The court observed that the girl was 16 years of age at the time when she was allegedly raped and “it is very difficult for any person to rape single-handed a grown-up girl without meeting the stiffest possible resistance from her.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Chandigarh HC recently upheld the acquittal of a rape accused owing to lack of injuries on rape survivor’s body
  • The court observed that since the girl was 16 years old at the time when she was allegedly raped, she would’ve shown stiff resistance while being raped, ideally.
  • However, since there were no marks of injury, the court observed that it clearly shows ‘Consent’
  • The Supreme Court had long ago removed the need to show the presence of injuries on a rape survivor’s body.

The Supreme Court in 2009 had ruled that injuries not necessary for the confirmation of rape. According to the judgment, the accused can be convicted even if the survivor has no injuries.

Clear Case Of Consent Since No Injuries Found

The accused were already acquitted by a trial court in February 2003. However, against this, a petition was filed by the state of Haryana. The High Court observed that the girl was 16 years old when she was raped back in 2000. At that time, “it is very difficult for any person to rape single-handed a grown-up girl without meeting the stiffest possible resistance from her.” “From the evidence on record, it transpires that it was a clear case of consent,” the HC said in the verdict, adding there was no mark of injury on the girl’s body as per medical evidence and examination of her private parts.

The appeal against acquittal was hence dismissed by the court.

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Evidences Available Are Of No Use

Though a number of shreds of evidence were present, the court observed that “the mere presence of human semen on the swab, salwar, and underwear of the accused”. Also, the prompt lodging of FIR is also “not an unmistakable guarantee” of the prosecution case, according to the High Court. “The prosecution case hinges on the testimony of PW-5, the prosecutrix, which does not inspire the confidence of the court,” reads the verdict. The court also added that the eye witness who saw the accused running from the point of crime can also not be considered as concrete evidence for the case. “She resisted a lot but as the accused was quite stout she could not do anything to get herself released and as her mouth had been muzzled with her chunni she could not resist the claim.”

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Injuries Not Necessary For Confirmation Of Rape: Supreme Court In 2009

The Supreme Court in 2009 had ruled that injuries not necessary for the confirmation of rape. According to the judgment, the accused can be convicted even if the survivor has no injuries. “Corroborative evidence is not an imperative component of judicial credence in every case of rape nor the absence of injuries on the private parts of the victim can be construed as evidence of consent,” a bench of Justices V. S. Sirpurkar and R.M. Lodha said.

The court observed that since the girl was 16 years old at the time when she was allegedly raped, she would’ve shown stiff resistance while being raped, ideally.

This is the second time that the Punjab and Haryana High Court has acquitted a rape accused on the basis of non-availability of injuries on a victim’s body. In a diversion from the well-established laws, the Punjab and Haryana HC in October 2019, 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.” You can read the full post HERE.

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