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No Legal Mandate That Two Years Must Be Added To Outer Age Limit Determined By ‘Ossification Test’: Orissa High Court

The Orissa High Court, presided over by Justice Sashikanta Mishra, ruled in the matter of Gobardhan Gadaba @Gadava v. State of Odisha (CRLREV No. 247 of 2007), that there is no statute requiring the mandatory addition of two years to the maximum age as established by the “ossification test.

Brief Facts of The Case: A decision rendered on 03.02.2006 by the Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Asst. Sessions Judge, Jeypore, found the petitioner accused in this case guilty of the offence under Sections 363 and 376 of the IPC. The said judgement of conviction and sentence was confirmed by the Additional Sessions Judge (Fast Track Court), Jeypore through a judgement dated 21.11.2006. In the current revision, the petitioner went to the High Court to contest such a conviction and sentencing judgement as well as the decision confirming it in an appeal.

Judgement: The Court reaffirmed that the law requires it to handle rape cases with care by considering the case’s larger probability and without being persuaded by tiny or inconsequential disparities in the prosecution’s statement. State of Punjab v. Gurmit Singh was cited. The court noted that a rape victim is not an accomplice but a witness. If a prosecutrix’s evidence is credible, no corroboration is needed. If her evidence is implicitly dependable and rings true, she can be convicted on her own. Thus, a conviction can be based on the prosecutrix’s sole testimony if it’s natural, trustworthy, and trustworthy. Thus, a conviction can be based on the prosecutrix’s sole testimony if it’s natural, trustworthy, and trustworthy.

Regarding the argument that the victim’s statement is hard to accept because the car was 200 metres from her house and there were other residences nearby, the Court stated that in cross-examination, the accused was throttling her while pulling her. No one asked the victim at trial if she’d screamed. Even if the victim was throttled by the accused while being dragged to the vehicle, the High Court said, the allegation brought at this late stage cannot be accepted. Even if the victim was throttled by the accused while being dragged to the vehicle, the High Court said, the allegation brought at this late stage cannot be accepted.

The court rejected the argument that the prosecutrix’s absence of injuries disproves her story. It decided that a rape victim’s injuries are not required to prove the allegation. Absence of victim injuries is not proof of false rape claim or prosecutrix consent. Further, the Court rejected the argument that the prosecutrix consented for the intercourse as she had a ruptured hymen and her vagina easily admitted two fingers. Even though the victim was used to sexual intercourse, it does not give the accused or anyone else permission to abuse her sexually without her agreement, nor can it be stated that she was a girl of easy virtue. The court ruled that there is no regulation that requires adding two years to the ossification test’s upper age limit in every case. Instead, it accepted the greater range of the ossification report’s age, which was 16 years. The revision was dismissed, and the trial court and lower appellate court rulings were upheld.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY PRAKIRTI JENA

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