New Delhi: A Madhya Pradesh High Court judge has observed that India is still a “conservative society” where girls “do not indulge in carnal activities with boys just for the fun of it, unless the relationship “is backed by the promise or assurance of a marriage”.
The observation was made by Justice Subodh Abhyankar Friday at a bail plea hearing, during which the accused’s application was dismissed.
The accused had claimed that the complainant had consensual sex with him and that it was not a forced relationship.
Justice Abhyankar rejected this argument and observed that in a majority of rape cases involving adults, the defence usually takes the plea that the complainant was a “consenting party” and, therefore, the accused get the benefit of doubt.
However, in the court’s opinion, barring some exceptions, this does not hold true. Therefore, the judge said, the accused cannot “plead consent on the part of the prosecutrix and laugh all the way to your home”.
The accused and the complainant were were in a relationship for nearly three years till the boy was arrested on 4 June 2021 on rape charges.
The prosecution claimed the accused had repeatedly raped the woman since October 2018 on the pretext of marrying her.
The Madhya Pradesh police had contended in court that the woman disclosed the matter of rape in her dying declaration when she tried to commit suicide after the accused, on 1 June 2021, informed her that his marriage had been fixed elsewhere.
The defence, meanwhile, asking for bail, submitted to the court that the woman had a physical relationship with the accused of her own free will as she was 21 years old.
It was also claimed that the woman had lodged a false case under pressure from her family after the accused expressed his inability to marry her.
According to the accused, his as well as the girl’s parents were opposed to their relationship since the two belonged to different religions. The accused is Hindu, and the complainant is Muslim.
‘Not only for enjoyment’
On considering the rival submissions and after a perusal of the case diary, the court found it was not a “fit case for grant of bail”.
The judge noted that the accused had “apparently allured the prosecutrix to enter into a physical relationship on the pretext of marriage despite knowing fully well that both of them are from different religions”.
“This Court is also of the considered opinion that a boy who is entering into a physical relationship with a lass must realize that his actions have consequences and should be ready to face the same as it is the girl who is always at the receiving end because it is she who runs the risk of being pregnant and also her ignominy in the society, if her relationship is disclosed,” the court said.
In this case, the court added, the woman had tried to kill herself and that showed she was serious about the relationship and did not have it only for “enjoyment”.
(Edited by Priyanjali Mitra)