HC says sexual assault without penetration is also rape, upholds conviction

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Mumbai, Jul 16 (PTI) Holding that a sexual assault without penetration also falls within the definition of rape under section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, the Bombay High Court has upheld the conviction of a 33-year-old man for rape.

Justice Revati Mohite-Dere also upheld the sentence of 10 years rigorous imprisonment awarded to the man, a city resident, by the trial court in 2019.

In a judgement passed last month, the judge dismissed the man's appeal challenging the sessions court's order finding him guilty of raping an intellectually-challenged woman.

The appeal argued that there had been no penile intercourse between him and the victim.

But the HC noted that forensic evidence proved a case of sexual assault.

'The soil found on the clothes of appellant and prosecutrix (victim) matched the earth collected from the spot where the sexual assault took place. The same is evident from the Forensic Science Laboratory report. The said evidence gives credence to the prosecutrix's case that she was sexually assaulted by the appellant,' the HC said.

'It hardly matters...having regard to the evidence that there was no penile-vaginal intercourse. Fingering of the vagina also constitutes an offense under the law,' the high court said. PTI AYA KRK KRK

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