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Semen ejaculation not necessary to prove sexual assault in rape cases: Andhra high court

'Even if evidence on record shows that there was penetration, it is sufficient to constitute an offence of penetrative sexual assault as defined under Section 3 of POCSO Act'

PTI Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) Published 19.04.23, 01:43 PM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture

Ejaculation of semen is not a necessary prerequisite to prove penetrative sexual assault, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has held while upholding a convict's sentencing under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) case recently.

Justice Cheekati Manavendranath Roy observed that even if the evidence on record shows that there was penetration, it is sufficient to constitute an offence of penetrative sexual assault as defined under Section 3 of the POCSO Act.

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"When a penetrative sexual assault is committed on a child below 12 years, it amounts to aggravated penetrative sexual assault under Section 5(m) of the POCSO Act and Section 6 prescribes punishment against the person, who has committed the said aggravated penetrative sexual assault,"said Justice Roy in his 22-page verdict.

The convicted person, who sexually assaulted a minor girl in 2015, was sentenced to 10 years of rigourous imprisonment by a Special Judge at Eluru in West Godavari district in 2016, including a penalty of Rs 5,000 levied on him.

Later, he challenged his sentence taking refuge in the doctor's report that there was no evidence of committing recent sexual intercourse with the victim as semen was not detected at the time of examination.

However, the doctor noted that there was blood in the vagina, including the penetration of a finger and the rupture of hymen despite the lack of semen, which indicates the girl was subjected to sexual intercourse, the judge observed.

Simply because semen was not detected, it cannot be said with all certainty that there was no penetration. All that is required to prove the offence of 'penetrative sexual assault', defined under Section 3 of the POCSO Act, is mere penetration of penis or any object or part of the body into the vagina, mouth, urethra or anus of a child, said the judge.

Further, the judge upheld the 2016 verdict of the Special Judge under POCSO Act.

Moreover, Justice Roy refused to lower the sentence of the accused to seven years as he had already undergone that duration of imprisonment pointing out that the minimum sentence in cases like these is 10 years and maximum up to life imprisonment.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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