Sexual Assault Cases in India

The guru arrested for sexual assault
The guru arrested for sexual assault

There is not a day that seems to go by without some sort of sexual assault or rape occurring in India. That is not to say, it does not happen in all countries, because it does, but in India, they just seem more disgusting.

The legal system there, in some ways, seems from the 18th century when regarding sexual crimes. For instance, all sex cases have the man undergo a potency test, to see if he can actually become aroused and hard enough for insertion.

Most recently, a 75-year old guru is charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy. To prove sexual potency, sometimes the man must masturbate and ejaculate in front of doctors, but more often the accused is given two tests.

The Nocturnal Penile Tumescence, NPT, which measures the number of spontaneous erections that occur at night. A gadget is attached to the accused in a lab setting over night.The strain gauge method documents changes in circumference when elastic bands on the base and tip of the penis stretch during an erection. The snap gauge method measures erectile function with pressure-sensitive bands that break when an erection occurs. The average man will have 3-5 erections every night.

So, it records the number of hard-ons the man has over night. The other test, the Penile Color Doppler sonography, is an ultrasound test that measures blood flow to the penis. Some other tests include sperm count and hormone tests.

The impotency issue and subsequent tests often and frequently also occur in divorces when it is the reason for it.

The recent changes in rape law in India due to the two horrific gang rapes will make it easy for rape and the impotency test done on rape or attempted rape has no relevance in view of the recent amendments in rape laws in India. Rape is no more a penile-vaginal penetration. The amended law re-defines rape and makes it very clear that a penetration to any extent in any part of the body of the woman would constitute rape. It would mean that penetrating a woman’s body (not necessarily vagina) would constitute the offense of rape. Even if a man is “impotent” with no capacity to effect a penile-vaginal penetration, he can still be held guilty of rape if the investigation leads to the fact that he had penetrated any part of the body of the victim with any object or a part of his body, for example, inserting finger in a woman’s mouth would be rape!


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