Penile assault between thighs also rape: Kerala HC

Penile sexual assault between thighs of victim held together amounts to rape: Kerala HC

The decision came in an appeal filed by a man against a trial court verdict in a matter of sexual harassment against a minor girl

Representative image. Credit: Pixabay

The Kerala High Court has clarified that penetrative sexual acts between the thighs of a woman can amount to rape under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

While considering an appeal filed by a rape case convict in Kerala on Monday, a bench of Justices K Vinod Chandran and Ziyad Rahman maintained that when the body of the victim is manipulated to hold the legs together for the purpose of simulating a sensation akin to penetration of an orifice, the offence of rape is attracted. When penetration is thus made in between the thighs so held together, it would certainly amount to 'rape' as defined under section 375.

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The court said this while deciding whether the penetration to 'any part of the body of such woman' as mentioned in section 375(c) like sexual assaults beyond penile penetration into vagina, urethra, anus and mouth amounted to rape.

We have already found that Section 375 as amended by Act 13 of 2013 widened the definition of "rape" by expanding its ambit beyond the penile penetrative assault into vagina. Following amendments to Section 375, several penetrative sexual assaults, which would otherwise be triable under Section 377, now come within the operative field of Section 375, the court said and dismissed the appeal against conviction for rape charges.