The Madras High Court bench here has upheld the Juvenile Justice Board’s order refusing to discharge a juvenile boy from a rape case.

The juvenile was booked by the Sellur police under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code on the charges of raping an eight-year-old girl in Madurai in 2006. The boy had originally filed a petition in the Juvenile Justice Board to discharge him from the charges of rape. The petition was dismissed on September 4, 2013, following which he moved the High Court.

Through his counsel, he contended that the complaint against him was registered by the police based on statements of the victim’s father. The victim had narrated the alleged incident to her maternal grandmother who later informed the girl’s mother, the counsel claimed. According to the counsel, the victim’s father himself did not hear the alleged incident from the girl since he heard the narration from his wife, and therefore, his version cannot be relied upon to register an FIR.

Referring to the medical records, the counsel argued that as per the statement of the victim to the doctor, ‘her dress was intact after the alleged incident and there was no penetration.’ Therefore, the alleged act of the juvenile did not attract Section 376 of the IPC and will attract only Section 354 (assault or criminal force on a woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC, he added.

However, the government advocate submitted that the trial court had dismissed the discharge petition after it was established that the girl was ‘subjected to sexual intercourse.’

Relying on the judgements of the Supreme Court in her order, Justice Aruna Jagadeesan noted that, “Complete penetration is not required and even slightest penetration is sufficient to attract the commission of offence (under Section 376 of the IPC). In this case, there is sufficient evidence to presume that the victim has been subjected to sexual intercourse.”

Therefore, she dismissed the petition filed by the juvenile.