In a landmark order, a court in Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh, on Thursday awarded separate sentences of rigorous imprisonment -- the maximum being of 10 years -- to two persons for raping a eunuch.
The court observed that no person could be differentiated on basis of sex and that a eunuch could also be raped.
Sending copies of the order to the Madhya Pradesh high court, law ministry and the chief justice of India, Special District and Sessions Judge Renu Sharma pronounced that forced entry into any aperture found in place of vagina, or into any woman who does not have a natural vagina or her sexual organs are irregular due to some reasons, should be considered a "rape".
Medical experts claim that the victim -- who was called ABC by the court to hide her identity -- does not have ovaries and uterus, but has an aperture, the court observed, adding this does not mean that the victim is not a woman.
The Constitution does not differentiate on the basis of sex and every person has the same rights, which have to be protected, the judge said.
The victim, who was married to a person in village Lukwasa, had lodged a complaint with the police that Ganeshram Raghuvanshi and Leelaram Raghuvanshi raped her when she was alone at her house on August 25, 2003.
The accused also beat her up, breaking a bone in her hand, the victim alleged.