Judgement of the Day - Sakshi Vs Union of India

By Akshay Sharma

Citation - AIR 2004 SC 3566


FACT:

This writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution has been filed by way of public interest

liltigation by Sakshi, which is an organization to provide legal, medical, residential,

psychological or any other help, assistance or charitable support for women, in particular those who are victims of any kind of sexual abuse or harassment or violence.


ISSUE:

Whether by a process of judicial interpretation the provisions of section 375 IPC can be

so altered so as to include all forms of penetration such as penile/vaginal penetration, penile/oral penetration, penile/anal penetration, finger/vaginal and finger/anal penetration and object/vaginal penetration, within its ambit. Section 375 uses the expression “sexual intercourse” but the said expression “Sexual intercourse” is heterosexual intercourse involving penetration of the vagina by the penis.


DECISION:

The writ petition is disposed of with the following directions:

1. The Provisions of sub-section (2) of section 327 CrPC shall in addition to the offences

mentioned in sub-section, also apply in inquiry or trial of offences under sections 354 and

377 IPC.

2. In holding trial of child sex abuse or rape:

i) A screen or some such arrangement may be made where the victim or witnesses(who

may be equally vulnerable like the victim) do not see the body or face of the accused.

ii) Question put in cross-examination on behalf of the accused, insofar as they relate

directly to the incident, should be given in writing to the presiding officer of the court

who may put them to the victim or witness in a language which is clear and is not

embarrassing.

iii) The victim of child abuse or rape, while giving testimony in court should be allowed

sufficient breaks as and when required.

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