Case: Rabi Saha @ Sarkar vs State of West Bengal
The Calcutta High Court recently ruled that taking off the undergarments of a minor girl and forcing her to lie down would amount to rape under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The single bench Justice Ananya Bandyopadhyay said that such action by a stranger would undoubtedly be done only with malicious intent.
According to the prosecution, the accused lured the minor child by giving her an ice cream and thereafter tried to rape her to an open ground in an isolated location. When the minor child asked to remove her pants, but she had left the spot. Then the accused chased her, brought her back, and forcefully removed her undergarments. By then, the girl had started screaming loudly, and as a result, the public gathered and caught the accused. The public assaulted him before handing him over to the police.
Ld. Amicus curie Mr Pritam Roy stated that there are no ingredients constituted in section 375 of the Indian penal code in this case.
“The action of removing the undergarment of the victim, covering and protecting her private parts, and forcibly making her lie down on the ground cannot be for any other oblique reason but indubitably for the purpose of ravishing her. The minor child cannot be said to be pampered or mollycoddled by asking to remove her pants and reclining her against her will,” the court said.
The court remarked, “asking the victim to remove her pant and in defiance the appellant himself removing it justifiably signifies an attempt to commit the offence of rape.”
The bench observed that the act of forcibly removing the victim’s undergarments and forcing her to lie down cannot be for any other reason than to raping her.
Therefore, the bench upheld the conviction and sentence of the trial court for a 5-year jail term under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The bench was hearing the convict’s appeal challenging the trial court’s order.
Edited by: Ms. Nandini Nair, Content Head at Lawgic.
Story Update by: Ms. Sai Sushmitha, Correspondent at Lawgic.