Penetration in-between girl’s thighs would amount to rape as defined under Section 375 of IPC: Kerala High Court

New Delhi: In a significant observation, the Kerala High Court has held that the act of an accused rubbing his penis on the thighs of a victim will constitute rape under the Indian Penal Code. It further observed that if such an act, though non-penetrative, provides sexual gratification to the accused, it will be termed as rape.

A Division Bench comprising Justice K Vinod Chandran and Justice Ziyad Rahman A A held that the definition of rape contained in section 375 of the IPC would take in sexual assaults including sexual acts committed between thighs of the victim. 

Hearing an appeal in a POCSO case, the Kerala HC observed that “Section 375 takes in, sexual assaults beyond penile penetration into vagina, urethra, anus, and mouth; the known orifices in the human body to which such penetration was imaginably possible”.

The court further added that the definition of rape covered “any manipulation of the body of a woman in such a manner as to simulate an effect, providing sexual gratification, akin to penile penetration.” 

It observed that “any part of the body of such woman” as mentioned in Section 375(c) of the Indian Penal Code, brings within its ambit a penile sexual act committed between the thighs held together; which do not qualify to be called an orifice”. 

The court added that when penetration was made in between the thighs held together, it would certainly, amount to “rape” as defined under Section 375 of IPC.

The counsel for the accused told the Kerala HC that the sexual act alleged against the accused is that he had inserted his penis between the thighs of the victim and that such an act would not attract the offence of rape citing Section 375. 

The bench, however, held that the law on rape has been amended through the years to widen the scope of the definition of the offence of rape, adding that it now includes penetration of any part of a woman’s body. 

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