Women cannot complain of rape after relationship turns sour: HC

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The Bombay High Court discharged a man who had been in a relationship with a woman for eight years while stating that the man could not be blamed merely because the woman with whom he was in a relationship complained of rape after their relationship turned sour and did not culminate in marriage.

The bench of Justice Bharti Dangre was hearing a criminal revision application filed by the man against whom the FIR was registered in 2016 at the Versova police station in Mumbai.

When the case went to trial, the man had filed a discharge application, which the Dindoshi Sessions court rejected.

After going through the facts of the case, Justice Dangre said, “Two matured persons coming together and investing in a relationship, one cannot be blamed only because the other complained of the act at some point in time when the relationship did not go well and for whatever reason need not ultimately culminate into a marriage.”

The woman who had filed a complaint against the man had stated that she had met him through the social media site Orkut and had fallen in love with him, and they had been together for eight years.

The woman said that even their families knew about each other. However, she alleged that on the pretext of marriage, he established a sexual relationship with her but did not marry.

However, the bench observed that “Admittedly, the victim was major when the relationship was established, both emotionally and physically. She was at the age where she is presumed to have sufficient maturity of understanding the consequences of her act, and according to her own version, on some occasions, the relationship was consensual, but sometimes it was forcible.”

“From the reading of the complaint, it can be seen that the applicant’s (accused) promise to marry the victim was not the only reason for permitting the applicant to have a sexual indulgence, as according to her own version, she was in love with the applicant,” Justice Dangre further noted.

“She was clearly conscious of the effect of sexual indulgence, and the relationship being continued for a considerable length of time does not give rise to a conclusion that on every occasion, only on the promise of marriage, the sexual relationship was established,” she added.

The judge, after going through documents, said, “The couple used to meet often, and repeated sexual indulgence was out of the love affair between them, and it was not necessarily preceded by the promise of marriage on every occasion.”

“It appears that they resided together for some point in time, and then they separated. The only bald statement in the complaint is that the applicant avoided performing the marriage,” she noted

Justice Dangre further reasoned that the victim “is sufficiently of matured age to be conscious of the relationship, both physical and mental, and merely because the relationship had now turned sour, it cannot be inferred that the physical relationship established with her, on every occasion, was against her will and without her consent.”

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