In a recent decision, a division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, has held that where there is an absence of bodily injury on an alleged rape victim, it is enough to conclude that the prosecutrix was not raped and that the sexual intercourse was consensual.
This decision arose from an application brought by the Union Territory of Chandigarh, wherein the Chandigarh administration sought the Court to grant it leave to appeal the acquittal of certain accused persons, who had stood trial for rape charges.
Sometime in 2015, a FIR was lodged and a criminal charge was filed against four accused persons – Suraj, Kannu, Vikas, and Amit – for gang raping the prosecutrix.
In his complaint, the prosecutrix’s father had stated that on the night of October 30, 2015, the accused persons had abducted his 18-year-old daughter from the religious gathering (jagran) which she had attended, and they had gang-raped her.
At the end of the trial, the Trial Court did not find the accused persons guilty, and acquitted them. Aggrieved with this, the Chandigarh administration lodged the aforementioned application for leave to appeal.
In denying this application, the Punjab and Haryana High Court upheld the trial court’s decision, and observed that the defendant’s story was probable, whilst the story put forth by the prosecution was highly improbable.
One of the facts which informed the Court’s observation was that there was evidence before the trial Court, which showed that the medical examiner, who had examined the prosecutrix’s body, had not found any injury marks on her body. Moreso, one of the accused persons, Amit, had in his defence, told the trial court that he was in a relationship with the accused, and that the prosecutrix’s family had only set out to falsely accuse him.
The Court further observed that the bits and pieces of the prosecutrix’s story did not add up, and there was no corroborating evidence to support her story; as such, her testimony was not credible.
The Court, therefore, held that the fact that there was no evidence of injury marks on her body meant that she consented to the sexual intercourse.