Vaginal redness & swelling indicate penetrative sexual assault, Meghalaya High Court rules
The Meghalaya High Court ruled on Wednesday that redness and swelling in a sexually abused woman's vaginal walls, together with difficulty passing urine, are adequate indicators of penetration, even though 'full insertion' of the male organ is not specifically asserted. According to Live Law, a Division bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice W.Diengdoh opined in dismissing an appeal filed by a person convicted of penetrative sexual assault on a young girl that even the slightest degree of penetration would suffice for the offence of penetrative sexual assault.
'' The survivor did not claim penetration. She stated the appellant rubbed his penis on her vagina... In this case, the young survivor may have meant that the complete organ of the appellant was not forced into her. She did, however, complain of pain, to the point of having difficulties peeing. Furthermore, an examination performed on her shortly after the occurrence indicated redness and swelling in the vaginal walls, which would be indicative of penetration, and the hymen was discovered to be broken.
Even if the rupture of the hymen is not significant in light of the survivor's claim that the appellant did not place his penis into her, the redness and swelling of the vaginal walls would indicate penetration. According to Live Law, "at the end of the day, the expert who evaluated the survivor was of the conclusion that the survivor had suffered penetrative sexual assault."
According to S.D. Upadhaya, the appellant's legal aid attorney, there is no proof of penetrative sexual assault, and even the victim claimed that the appellant did not insert his penis into her vagina. He made reference to a forensic science laboratory result that was inconclusive and the lack of a definite conclusion in the report from the medical expert who examined the survivor right after the FIR was filed.
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