The Supreme Court, in a judgment delivered last month, upheld the conviction of a man accused of raping a minor in the year 1992.
The bench comprising rejected his no offence under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code is made out since the victim was a consenting party. The Court took note of the documents produced by the prosecution and observed that she was a minor during the said incident.
In 1992, Ramvir, was accused of kidnapping a minor girl and raping her. The Trial Court, in 1999, convicted him for offence under Sections 363, 366 and 376 of the IPC. Partly allowing his appeal in 2010, the High Court acquitted him for offences under Section 363 and 366 observing that the factual circumstances indicated that prosecutrix had the capacity of knowing the full import of what she was doing and it seems she voluntarily joined the accused. But it confirmed the conviction under Section 376, observing that the prosecutrix was aged around 15 years 7 months. He was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for five years and to pay fine of Rs.10,000, in default to undergo simple imprisonment for three months.
Ramvir, then approached the Apex Court by filing an appeal and contended that the determination of the age of the prosecutrix was not done as per scientific evidence. He further argued that the oral evidence of the father, and documentary evidence from the school and panchayat are contradictory. The Apex Court had, in 2010, granted bail to the accused.
Rejecting his contentions during the hearing last month, the bench observed thus in its order:
"Having heard the learned counsel appearing for the parties and carefully perusing the material available on record, we note that statement of the prosecutrix is corroborated by the family register, a public document maintained by the Panchayat Secretary, which was found duly marked and authenticated by concerned authorities. Even the school records reveal that she was a minor during the said incident. Since, the prosecutrix was a minor at the time of the incident the accused appellant has been rightly convicted under Section 376 of the IPC."
Dismissing the appeal, the bench then directed him to surrender before the concerned court, within a period of eight weeks for serving out the remaining period of sentence.
Know the Law
Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code defines the offence of rape. Sexual intercourse with a minor with or without her consent is a rape.
After its amendment in 2013, the provision reads as follows.
A man is said to commit "rape" if he-- (a) penetrates his penis, to any extent, into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of a woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person; or (b) inserts, to any extent, any object or a part of the body, not being the penis, into the vagina, the urethra or anus of a woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person; or (c) manipulates any part of the body of a woman so as to cause penetration into the vagina, urethra, anus or any part of body of such woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person; or (d) applies his mouth to the vagina, anus, urethra of a woman or makes her to do so with him or any other person, under the circumstances falling under any of the following seven descriptions:
First.Against her will.Secondly.Without her consent.Thirdly.With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested, in fear of death or of hurt.Fourthly.With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.Fifthly.With her consent when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.Sixthly. With or without her consent, when she is under eighteen years of age.Seventhly, When she is unable to communicate consent. Explanation 1.For the purposes of this section, "vagina" shall also include labia majora.
First.Against her will.
For the purpose of this section, Consent means an unequivocal voluntary agreement when the woman by words, gestures or any form of verbal or non-verbal communication, communicates willingness to participate in the specific sexual act: Provided that a woman who does not physically resist to the act of penetration shall not by the reason only of that fact, be regarded as consenting to the sexual activity.
This provision has two exceptions: (1) A medical procedure or intervention shall not constitute rape (2) Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.
Case detailsCase no.: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1172 of 2010Case name: RAMVIR vs. THE STATE OF NCT OF DELHICoram: Justices NV Ramana, Surya Kant, Krishna MurariCounsel: Adv Shashi Bhushan Kumar, ASG R.S. Suri, Sr. Adv. Kiran Suri
Case no.: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1172 of 2010
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