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Rapist Degrades Very Soul Of Helpless Female: Patna High Court Affirms Conviction Of Man For Raping Minor

Nupur Thapliyal
8 April 2021 3:53 AM GMT
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"The Court ought to be mindful that a rapist not only violates the victim’s privacy and personal integrity, but inevitablycauses serious psychological as well as physical harm in the process." -Patna High Court

"Rape is not merely a physical assault, it is often destructive of the whole personality of the victim. A murderer destroys the physical body of his victim, a rapist degrades the very soul of the helpless female" observed the Patna High Court on Tuesday while affirming conviction of a man found guilty of raping a 14 year old minor girl.

A single judge bench comprising of Justice Birendra Kumar also went ahead to observe that if the record of the case in its totality discloses that the prosecutrix does not have strong motive to falsely implicate the person charged, the Court should ordinarily have no hesitation in accepting her evidence as "no self-respecting women would come forward to make a self-humiliating statement in casual manner."

The observation came in an appeal filed by a man convicted under sec. 376 of the Indian Penal Code along with sec. 4 of the POCSO Act by the Special POCSO Judge vide judgment dated 27th May 2019. Subsequently, he was awarded 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 50,000.

It was the case of the appellant that the medical evidence of the prosecutrix is not corroborated and that the witnesses in the case were mere "hearsay witnesses".

On the other hand, it was submitted by the counsel on behalf of the victim girl that a victim of rape cannot be looked upon with suspicion for minor discrepancies.

Observing that corroboration is not an imperative component of judicial credence in every case of rape, the Court observed thus:

"Refusal to act on the testimony of the victim of sexual assault, in absence of corroboration as a rule, is adding insults to the injury."

Commenting on the hardships faced by Indian women while dealing with crimes such as rape, the Court observed that:

"The reason is simple that a girl or a woman in the tradition bound non-permissive society of India would be extremely reluctant even to admit that any incident which is likely to reflect on her chastity had ever occurred. She would be conscious of the danger of being ostracized by the society. When in face of these factors, the crime is brought to light, there is inbuilt assurance that the charge is genuine rather than fabricated. In normal course, the Indian Women has tendency to conceal such offence even before her family members much less before public or before the police. Therefore, testimony of the prosecutrix to some extent, stands on higher pedestal than that of an injured witness."

Furthermore, the Court also went ahead to observe that while a murderer destroys the physical body of his victim, a rapist, on the other hand, degrades the very sole of the helpless female.

"The Court ought to be mindful that 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." The Court observed at the outset.

In view of the aforesaid observations, the Court also observed that there is a greater responsibility on the Courts to deal with such cases with "utmost sensitivity."

"The broader probabilities of the case should be examined and not the minor contradictions or insignificant discrepancies in the statement of the prosecutrix, which are not of a fatal nature, should come in the way to otherwise reliable prosecution case." The Court said.

Noting that under the medical jurisprudence, it is not important for the hymen to get ruptured in all rape cases, the Court also observed that there was nothing on record in the present case to specify the nature of penetration meted to the victim.

Therefore, the Court held that it cannot be argued that the testimony of the prosecutrrix is totally inconsistent with the medical evidence.

"There is nothing on the record to substantiate that the victim had strong motive to make an allegation which was not only against the appellant rather a self-inflicting statement against honour and dignity of the victim herself. As noticed above, the victim is not totally inconsistent with the medical report or other prosecution witnesses. Therefore, there is no reason to disbelieve or discard the trustworthy testimony of the victim." The Court held.

While observing this, the Court affirmed the judgment of the POCSO Judge and dismissed the appeal filed by the convict.

Click Here To Read Judgment


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