Rubbing of penis on thighs of victim is rape: Kerala HC

Kochi: In a significant verdict on the scope of rape law, the Kerala High Court has held that the act of an accused rubbing his penis on the thighs of a victim will constitute rape under the Indian Penal Code.

A division bench, headed by Justice K. Vinod Chandran, gave the ruling while hearing an appeal filed by a man convicted and sentenced of raping his 11-year-old neighbour near here in 2015.

The crime came to light then after the minor complained of pain in the stomach to medical professionals at a state-run medical camp and following queries by them, admitted of being sexually exploited by her neighbour.

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Later with the help of child line officials, a case was registered and the man was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The man had approached the high court with a fresh petition, which questioned if penetrating the gap between the thighs also comes under rape.

He also claimed that he cannot be charged under rape under the IPC since the “sexual act alleged against the accused is that of inserting the penis of the accused between the thighs of the victim”, and that he had not “penetrated any orifice” for it to constitute rape under law.

But the bench held that the offence of rape would be attracted if penetration of penis is made between thighs (of the victim) held together.

“We have no doubt in our mind that when the body of the victim is manipulated to hold the legs together for the purpose of simulating a sensation akin to penetration of an orifice, the offence of rape is attracted. When penetration is thus made in between the thighs so held together, it would certainly amount to ‘rape’ as defined under Section 375,” it said.

The court also pointed out that there have been verdicts of both the Kerala High Court and the apex court where it has been held that penetration of even slightest degree will be sufficient to attract the offence of rape.

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