October 1, 2011


Times of India

Medical evidence not always must to prove rape: HC

NAGPUR: Without strong medical evidence, the offence of rape is difficult to prove. However, in a landmark verdict, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has ruled that medical evidence is not always necessary to prove an offence of rape.

"Merely because there is no medical evidence to prove sexual intercourse, it can't be held that the accused is innocent," a single-judge bench of justice UV Bakre ruled, adding that 'this is because there is strong, truthful and reliable evidence of the victim.' The court dismissed the appeal filed by Maroti Sadmake, a Gadchiroli headmaster who was convicted of raping a minor by a lower court, after almost nine years of the crime.

Citing a report by Dr Sadhana Joshi, who examined 12-yearold Komolika (name changed) for ascertaining injuries and sexual assault, the court observed that 'in girls aged about 13-14 years, the hymen is tough and without rupture of hymen, the sexual intercourse is possible with slight penetration.' Justice Bakre, while upholding the Gadchiroli sessions court verdict of convicting Sadmake, ruled that victim's testimony 'inspires full confidence, is wholly reliable and has circumstantial support of the testimonies of other witnesses'.

Komolika, a Std IV student of an ashramshala in Dhanora, used to stay in the hostel at the time of the incident. After the exam, some students went home, but Komolika stayed back. On April 16, 1994, around 8pm, when she was returning after attending nature's call, Sadmake forcibly took her to a nearby field and raped her.

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