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Sikkim HC: Penetration to Any Extent, Even if There is No Visible Injury, is Sufficient to Constitute Rape

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Priyanka Singh

Published on: September 14, 2022 at 20:09 IST

In the Subash Chandra Chhetri vs. State of Sikkim case, the Sikkim High Court last week held that even slight penetration of the male sexual organ in the vagina will account for rape and aggravated penetrative sexual assault even in the absence of visible physical injury.

The observations made by Justices Meenakshi Madan Rai and Bhaskar Raj Pradhan upheld the trial court’s conviction of the accused for the offences of penetrative sexual assault on a child below twelve years under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and the Offence Of Rape under the IPC.

The appellant was convicted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old by the trial court and was sentenced to 20 years in jail with a fine of Rs. 5000.

Further, the appellant moved to the High Court, submitting a medical report which recorded the lack of visible external injuries found on the victim and local examination revealed mere redness over the labia minora, to which he was charged of penetrative sexual assault.

The victim’s testimony, as studied by the High Court, remained consistent and firm throughout the trial.

It was also observed that the trial judge pressed the fact that the redness reinforced the case of the prosecution.

The High Court appreciated the evidence and keenness of the Special Judge and the enforcement of law by the trial court – “We find that the learned Special Judge has correctly appreciated the evidence and the law, and found the appellant guilty of the offences charged.”

Since the victim’s submission being specific and firm, the conviction of the appellant under Section 376AB of the IPC and Section 6 of the POCSO Act was upheld.