Consensual sex cannot be termed rape, says Bombay High Court

Mumbai(PTI): Men get right to do whatever they want without any liability. The state government should find remedy for such instances. Otherwise men will get away with anything.

The Bombay high court has said that if a woman willingly has sexual relationship with a married man, then she cannot cry rape if he refuses to marry her. Expectedly, the decision has women activists up in arms.

A division bench of justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudessai quashed a rape complaint against a man observing, “The petitioner (woman) is an adult and was well aware that the respondent no.6 (man) is a married.

Despite knowing this, the petitioner had accompanied the respondent no.6 at several places and had sexual intercourse with him without there being any misconception of any fact. In our considered view, the FIR does not prima facie disclose that the respondent no.6 had made false promise of marriage solely with an intention of satisfying his lust or that he had cheated or deceived the petitioner.” The judges said the material on record indicates that this was a case of “consensual sex” and hence it does not constitute offence of rape.

The HC was hearing a petition by a woman seeking quashing of her rape complaint saying a settlement has been reached. She had also sought quashing of a kidnapping complaint lodged against her by the man’s wife.
Adv Mahesh Vaswani, who represented the woman, said she had lodged a complaint with the Cuffe Parade police station on July 22, 2014, alleging rape and molestation. The woman, who an employee at the man’s firm, said in the FIR that she was aware about his marriage. In June 2013, she accompanied him to Goa where they got physical. The complainant said she was in love with him.

She alleged that he had promised to divorce his wife and marry her. He, however, later refused to marry her and also dismissed her from service.

The judges observed that rape was a serious offence and a crime against society and hence a complaint to this effect cannot be quashed easily. “However, if the allegations in the FIR do not justify registration of a rape case and the chances of conviction are remote and bleak, it would be permissible for the Court (HC) to accept the plea of settlement and quash the complaint,” added the judges.

Adv Niranjan Mundargi, who represented the couple, said the wife had also lodged an FIR against the woman for kidnapping of their son with the Malabar Hill police station in June 2014. Besides, both the parties had filed cross complaints alleging criminal intimidation by the other side. A complaint in that regard was lodged with the Bandra-Kurla police station in June 2014.

Additional public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik, appearing for the state government, said they did not have any objection to the quashing of the complaints. The judges have, however, asked all the three persons to pay cost of Rs5,000 each to Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital as a charity.

Noted advocate Flavia Agnes said by such orders, men get right to do whatever they want without any liability. “The state government should find remedy for such instances. Otherwise men will get away with anything. Despite being married does he have right to sleep with other women, she asked adding it is unfortunate that women too fall for such ploys.

Susieben Shah, former chairperson of Maharashtra State Commission for Women said it was a sad situation where women have to face more humiliation. “Women must keep in mind that men usually do not abandon their wife and children in Indian society.

Women too must maintain their self-respect and care about the other women (wife in this case),” said Shah.

Posted by on January 12, 2015. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.