HC says torn hymen does not prove rape
The High Court observed that even if the evidence given by the doctor who examined a rape victim does not prove the offence of rape, the accused can be held guilty if the evidence of the victim is reliable and inspires confidence.
In this case, the accused Sasi was convicted. There upon he appealed in the HC which examined meticulously the evidence of the doctor as well as her deposition before the trial judge. The HC held that her evidence cannot be accepted regarding rape. Even other evidences available before the Court does not establish the offence of rape. So the conviction awarded by the sessions court was set aside.
The crucial question is whether there is sufficient medical evidence? The doctor who examined the victim said there was partial penetration. The doctor explained that the hymen of the victim was torn.
The HC observed that penetration could not be inferred simply because the hymen was torn or ruptured.
The doctor spoke about the finger test also. The vagina admitted only one finger of the doctor but High Court quoted Supreme court judgment that finger test is not a reliable test to infer penetration.
It has been held that rupture of the hymen was not an indication for penetration. The doctor had said that intense physical activities like sports, martial arts, dance performance could cause tearing or rupture of the hymen. So the Court held that it is impossible to accept the opinion of the doctor that there occured penetration simply because the hymen was torn. So there is no sufficient medical evidence for the prosecution to contend that rape happened.
The Supreme Court had held in many judgments that the evidence of the doctor is not mandatory at all or non examination of the doctor is fatal to the prosecution.
If the Court is satisfied that the evidence given by the victim is reliable and the Court is satisfied that rape has taken place, the
accused can be convicted solely on that basis.
The Court cannot forget the trauma the victim had undergone, The trial court has the advantage to see the victim and assess her plight and demeanour while giving evidence. If it is reliable the Court can act upon that.