A man, who had first promised to marry the girl whom he had raped, and then failed to keep his word, forcing the hapless victim to commit suicide, deserves no sympathy.
He should spend time in jail, ruled the Bombay high court, upholding the five-year sentence awarded to Anil Dukhande, 37, for raping a 17-year-old girl in 1996. The victim committed suicide by consuming poison on January 5, 2009, after Dukhande backtracked and refused to marry her.
Justice RC Chavan observed that the five-year sentence awarded to Dukhande was not harsh and it would be impermissible to let him off even though he was behind bars for a month and 23 days before being released on bail.
Justice Chavan observed: "It has also been submitted that it would be impossible for a person to have forcible sexual intercourse with a woman as she is bound to resist it. This may not be always true. Fear of physical assault and the social stigma that is attached to sexual assault itself would render the victim defenceless. Merely because there are no marks of physical resistance, rape cannot be ruled out."
Dukhande and the victim, a Class 12 student, lived in the same village, near Malwan. Dukhande raped her on February 10, 1996, while she was collecting firewood.
The girl informed her mother but they waited for a day to take any action, as girl's father was not at home then. A day later, her father took up the issue with village leaders and Dukhande.
Dukhande admitted his mistake and requested village leaders not to lodge a complaint with the police. On February 14, 1996, he gave it in writing that he would marry the victim before March 31, 1996.
When Dukhande failed to keep his promise, the girl approached the police, following which he was arrested and later released on bail. The sessions court convicted him to five-year imprisonment in 1996 but he approached the high court challenging his conviction.