Absence of injury does not negate rape

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India Legal Bureau

A recent judgment of the Himachal Pradesh High Court (Gurmukh Singh and ors. vs State of Himachal Pradesh and Ors.) held that lack of injury marks on the body of a rape survivor does not disprove that rape took place.

The High Court said: “Absence of injury on the body of the accused or for that matter prosecutrix, would not render her version in any manner to be false or doubtful. Exact location of the angle in which she was subjected to intercourse, cannot be left to the imagination of the doctor, in whose view, there ought to ought to have been some marks on the buttocks of the prosecutrix. After all, there were injury marks on the face of the prosecutrix, which she has stated to be on account of gagging of her mouth.”

The rape victim survivor was a young village girl, a student of class X, who had gone out to the fields at night to relieve herself when she was attacked by the accused and raped. Her aunt, who came out at that time, witnessed the incident and called other women to the spot. Upon arrival of the women, the accused fled.

The rape survivor’s testimony, along with the testimony of the witnesses, plus the other evidence, were anyway sufficient to convict the accused.

The accused put up an argument that the complaint was filed with the police after one full day. The court, however, found that the delay occurred because the head of the family was away at that time. It observed: “In rural areas, generally people are reluctant to report the matter till the arrival of head of the family. Thus, there is no delay in lodging the FIR.”

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