Raping a girl and arguing that it was consensual sex because it was followed by marriage is not valid, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has ruled.
The court was dealing with an appeal filed by 22-year-old Vanraj Masram, from Hingana tehsil of Nagpur district. The Nagpur sessions court, on April 4 last year, had convicted Masram for raping his minor neighbour in July 2007 and sentenced him to seven years rigorous imprisonment.
Masram’s contention was that it was not a case of rape as the victim — who was 16 years old at the time of the incident — had consented to sex after he and she had exchanged garlands at the village temple.
After going through the facts and evidence of the case, Justice A.P. Bhangale found that the accused first raped the victim and did not seem to have an intention to marry and maintain her. “Such fraudulently obtained consent cannot condone the offence of the accused,” the judge observed.
The prosecution said that the labourer had raped the girl, exchanged garlands with her after she conceived and then left the village without informing her. The victim then lodged a case of rape against Masram.