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Can’t issue guidelines to stop misuse of rape law: Maharashtra govt tells Bombay high court

State was responding to a PIL and writ petition filed seeking to restrain cops from slapping rape charges in cases wherein the relationship was consensual.

mumbai Updated: Nov 08, 2017 09:48 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
Bombay high court,Misuse of rape law,Mumbai News
Bombay High Court.(HT FILE)

It is not possible to issue guidelines to restrain the police from registering first information reports (FIRs) in rape cases lodged by women when it was a consensual relationship, the Maharashtra home department told Bombay high court on Tuesday.

As per section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Supreme Court judgment in Lalita Kumari vs State of Uttar Pradesh (2013), the police are mandated to register an FIR if a complaint points to a cognisable offence, said the affidavit filed by the home department in high court on Tuesday.

According to the affidavit, a police officer is duty bound to register an FIR and investigate the offence. If at a later stage it is disclosed that no offence has been committed, the police are again under obligation to inform the court, the affidavit said.

The affidavit was filed in response to a public interest litigation and a writ petition that have sought direction to restrain the police from slapping on the severe charge of rape in cases wherein the relationship was consensual.

Responding to the petitions, the affidavit stated that under the law, when two adults engage in physical relationship voluntarily, such act does not constitute rape. It, however, added that whether the consent was voluntary or obtained under coercion is essentially a question of fact (which requires to be investigated).

The petition was filed by a 27-year-old doctor who has been accused of rape by a theatre actress. They had a long physical relationship. He married somebody else under the pretext of his MS examination.

In the petition filed through advocate Mahesh Vaswani, the doctor has sought that the FIR registered against him be quashed and also a direction to the police to prevent the ‘misuse’ of the rape law.

First Published: Nov 08, 2017 09:47 IST