Vague statement not enough to prove rape: HC

The Kerala High Court has held that a mere vague statement by the victim that the accused hugged and impregnated her without indicating penile penetration is not sufficient to attract the offence of rape.

Justice Kauser Edappagath made the observation on Wednesday while allowing an appeal filed by Ranjith, a convict in a rape case, seeking to quash the trial court’s order awarding seven years’ imprisonment and ₹10,000 to him.

The petitioner contended that there was no cogent and reliable evidence to show that he had committed rape on the victim as alleged by the prosecution. The victim had alleged that the accused, a frequent visitor to her house, raped and impregnated her on the promise of marrying her.

The court observed that penile penetration being an essential ingredient of the offence of rape, there must be proof of actual penetration or at least penile access. The only witness who could prove that was the victim. She had not stated anything relating to penile penetration or such an attempt. She only stated that the accused hugged and impregnated her.

The offence of rape was constituted only if the ingredients under Section 375 were made out. “Unless the victim states in her evidence about the penetrative non-consensual sexual act by the accused on her, the offence of rape cannot be said to be made out,” the court added.

The court acquitted the accused in the case.

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