The Madras High Court has said mere absence of injury on the body of a sexually abused minor cannot be a ground to say there has been no offence committed at all.
The court made this observation while upholding a lower court order sentencing a person concurrently to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment under IPC and seven years' rigorous imprisonment under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act, 2012).
Justice S Vaidyanathan rejected the argument of the counsel for the accused that in the event of any physical violence, there must have been bodily injury on the person, who is subjected to such violence, in absence of which, it cannot be said the victim was not subjected to sexual harassment.
The judge said, "It is a highly fallacious argument advanced by the counsel for the accused as the minor girl did not even know as to what for she is being pulled in for and touched." He said, "Therefore, an inference can be drawn that there cannot be much resistance on the side of a minor girl and in the absence of any opposition, naturally, there is no possibility of sustaining injury on the body."
The judge further said mere absence of bodily injury cannot be a ground to say that there is no offence at all, especially when it was reported that semen was detected on the girl's clothes.
He said the victim's version has been supported by the report of the forensic sciences department, as the girl in her statement before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Erode, had clearly stated that when the accused had touched her, some liquid-like water fell on her clothes and on seeing that she had run out of the house.
The judge said her deposition cannot be said to be a tutored one. He said even though this court thought of incorporating the deposition of the girl in the order, but in the interest of the child and with a view to avoiding inclusion of obscene words contained in the deposition, the court has refrained itself from extraction of those contents.
The judge said the case of the prosecution is that the girl's mother had lodged a complaint on May 27, 2016 stating that the accused Prakash had forcibly taken her 12 year old girl into his house and committed a sexual assault on her.
On the basis of the complaint, a case was registered and the lower court convicted Prakash and sentenced him to 10 years rigorous imprisonment under IPC and seven years' rigorous imprisonment under POCSO Act. Both the sentences would run concurrently. Challenging the conviction, he filed the appeal in High Court which rejected the plea.