Dismissing the revision plea of a Sonipat juvenile against his conviction in a rape case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that the absence of external or internal injury on the victim’s body cannot discredit her allegation.
“It shall not be appropriate to expect or presume that in all cases of sexual intercourse with a woman against her will or without her consent, there would be some external or internal injury on the victim’s body,” said a single bench of the high court, adding, “In these circumstances, and in the absence of any injury on the body of the prosecutrix, ipso facto, is not sufficient to discredit her evidence.”
The court was responding to an argument that there was no injury external or internal on any part of the victim’s body and it negates the plea of sexual intercourse. The revision petition was filed against the conviction order passed by the principal magistrate, Juvenile Justice Board, Sonipat, in 2014, while the FIR was lodged in 2010. The first appellate court had dismissed the appeal of the convicted juvenile in 2016. The juvenile had in May 2014 been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. He was released from the Special Home, Sonipat, in April 2017 after completion of the sentence.
The accused was “remotely related” to the family of the victim — also a minor at the time of occurrence of crime. According to the complaint, the victim and her mother were collecting firewood on November 26, 2010, when the juvenile approached the minor and asked for help claiming that his sister was unwell. The juvenile took the victim to his friend’s house, where she was kept for around 14 days and raped.
The single bench in its ruling said that the age of the victim is not in dispute as her school certificate has been brought on record, adding that nothing could be elicited from her during the cross-examination to infer or conclude that her version was in any way doubtful or not acceptable.
“A woman and more so a young unmarried girl will not put her reputation on peril by alleging falsely about forcible sexual assault as the society in which she was staying is still conservative. Her evidence is supported by medical evidence,” the court said.