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Consensual sex on promise of marriage not rape, says HC

The Bombay High Court on Thursday refused to accept that an educated, adult woman could term a consensual relationship as rape after the man allegedly promised to marry her but then failed to deliver on that promise.

The court was hearing the anticipatory bail application of a man who had entered into a relationship with a 24-year-old woman last March. On October 7 , she had filed a case of rape at the Goregaon police station.

“This cannot be rape,” said Justice Mridula Bhatkar, while granting the man anticipatory bail. “You [the complainant] can say no. You are educated and a major; you have the right to say no… I grant bail in such matters because it is not rape.”

The complainant’s lawyer, Aniket Nikam, claimed that if she refused sex the man would assault her and that although he had promised to marry the complainant, he had actually cheated her with a false promise. He contended that the woman had conceived and that following pressure from the man went for an abortion. “Thereafter she found he wasn’t ready to marry,” said the order, recording the lawyer’s submissions. “She helped him financially under the excuse he would marry. He cheated her by giving the false promise of marriage.” Manoj Mohite, appearing for the accused, said it was a relationship of mutual consent and not of rape. The court said, “Considering the age [of the complainant], I am inclined to grant bail.” The man was further ordered to post a surety of Rs 25,000 and ensure he does not in any way attempt to get in touch with the woman.

The writer is a freelance journalist

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 5:03:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/consensual-sex-on-promise-of-marriage-not-rape-says-hc/article8339603.ece

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