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Reflections on the High Court’s dismissal of the ‘TISS rape case’

Sana Contractor

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2011.093


Abstract

The Bombay High Court’s dismissal of the appeal in the TISS rape case is extremely distressing to us. As an organisation that works on a routine basis with survivors of sexual assault, as well as doctors who record and collect the relevant medical evidence and provide treatment to these survivors, we are familiar with these medico-legal processes, the limitations of medical evidence, the various circumstances under which sexual assaults occur, as well as the trauma that survivors go through. The High Court has rejected the appeal in the case, on the ground that “There is no evidence to prove the offence”. Qualifying this further, it has said that “in case of absence of direct evidence in the form of the victim stating that she had been raped, there has to be some indirect evidence in the form of medical evidence to prove the offence.” There are two points to keep in mind here.

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