A man accused of raping a woman on the false pretext of marriage has been acquitted by a Delhi court on Thursday, saying the two in the prime of their youth had a consensual intimate relationship in “youthful eagerness”.
The court took note of the fact that the duo had planned consensual sex “well in advance” through messages on social networking site Facebook.
“These are not normal routine messages. These show that prosecutrix (woman) was herself eager to have sex with the accused that they have been discussing the manner in which they would enjoy sex …, whether or not to use condom, etc.,” Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhatt said, acquitting defendant Vikul Bakshi of Haryana.
“…these messages demonstrate that the prosecutrix was a consenting partner to physical relations with the accused … It appears that the two, being in the prime of their youth, were having sexual relations with each other in youthful eagerness and nothing else,” the judge said.
The woman had lodged a case against Bakshi under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code alleging that he forced himself upon her twice without her consent on false pretext of marriage. The woman also accused him of threatening to defame her if she insisted on marrying him.
Delhi has gained notoriety as the country’s rape capital, reporting 1,813 cases in 2014, up from 1,441 a year before. But many of these cases are filed after a failed relationship where a man refuses to marry his partner.
In a report, the Delhi Commission of Women said 53% of rape cases filed between April 2013 and July 2014 were found to be false. Of the 2,753 complaints of rape filed during this period, only 1,287 cases were true while the remaining 1,464 were found to be false.
“Any sexual relationship based on consent cannot be considered rape,” Ranjana Kumari, the director of the Centre for Social Research, told Hindustan Times. “Women should be more careful before getting into such relationships.”
Thursday’s court verdict indicated as much. The court said intercourse between the two “appears to be voluntarily and uninfluenced by any promise or assurance of the accused”.
It noted that she gave “inconsistent and contradictory versions … in her statements recorded during the course of investigation and in her testimony before this court”.
Rejecting the woman’s version, the court said: “There is no evidence on record to suggest that the prosecutrix had given her consent to physical relations with the accused solely on the latter’s promise to marry her or that he was having knowledge that she consented to physical relations with him only on promise to marry her.”