Removing innerwear of minor girls forcefully is equivalent to rape, says Calcutta High Court
The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday held that forceful removal of the innerwear of minor girls is equivalent to rape.
A single judge bench of Justice Ananya Bandopadhyay ruled this out while hearing a 2007 minor case. Justice Bandhopadhyay held that removing the undergarment of the minor victim and forcing her to lie down on the ground cannot be for any other reason than to sexually ravish her.
She also observed that the minor child cannot be pampered or mollycoddled by asking to remove her pants and reclining her against her wish.
The High Court was hearing a case of Robi Roy who was accused of luring a minor girl to a secluded place with ice cream and asking her to remove her innerwear. When the minor victim refused, he forcefully removed her undergarment.
Roy was declared guilty by a lower court in West Dinajpur in 2008. Reports said the incident came to light after the minor victim started screaming when Roy forcefully removed her innerwear.
The nearby locals rushed to the spot following her scream and handed over the accused to the police.
Reports further said the lower court declared Roy guilty in November 2008 and slapped him with five and a half years of jail and also imposed a fine of Rs 3,000 for the crime.
Roy challenged the order of West Dinajpur and moved to the High Court and claimed that he was falsely implicated. The accused, in his petition, claimed that he had no bad intentions towards the victim and expressed his fatherly affection towards the girl.
Reports also said the medical tests conducted on the minor victim proved that no sexual assault was carried out on her. However, the Calcutta High Court on February 7 ruled out that the incident is similar to the rape of sexual offence under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code.