Rape possible even in the absence of injuries: Apex court

Rape possible even in the absence of injuries: Apex court

“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 bench passed the ruling while rejecting the argument of convict Rajender alias Raju who claimed that absence of any injuries on the victims’ private parts indicated that she consented to the sex and that the charge of rape was not corroborated by any other evidence except the testimony of the victim.

Witness testimony

The apex court said that in rape cases the sole testimony of the witness without any corroboration can be relied on as rarely would a self-respecting Indian woman accuse a man of raping her.

“In the context of Indian culture, a woman-victm of sexual aggression would rather suffer silently than to falsely implicate somebody. Any statement of rape is an extremely humilating experience for a woman and until she is a victim of sex crime, she would not blame anyone but the real culprit.

“While appreciating the evidence of the prosecutrix, the courts must always keep in mind that no self-respecting woman would put her honour at stake by falsely alleging commission of rape on her and therefore, ordinarily a look for corroboration of her testimony is unnecessary and uncalled for,” the bench said.

In the case in question, the accused., a resident of Kothi village, Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh had raped the victim a neighbour after promising to take her to a hospital for treatment of a throat ailment.

Medical evidence

On the basis of medical evidence and testimony of the victim, the sessions court convicted and sentenced the accused to seven years rigorous imprisonment and Himachal Pradesh High Court upheld the sentence, after which he filed the appeal in the apex court.

“A rapist not only violates the victim’s privacy and personal integrity but inevitably causes serious psychological as well as physical harm in the process.

“Rape is not merely an assault. It is often destructive of the whole personality of the victim. Murder destroys the physical body of the victim. A rapist degrades the very soul of the helpless female,” the apex court observed while directing Raju, who is on bail, to forthwith surrender and serve his sentence.

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