Consensual Sex Not Rape In All Cases: Supreme Court

Souce: dailyhunt
New Delhi: Earlier this month, a school teacher in Jajpur district of Odisha got his colleague arrested on charges of raping her. In her complaint, she alleged they were in a physical relationship for over three years but the accused, the headmaster in-charge of the school, went back on his promise of marrying her.
The lady teacher might have a weak case to defend as the Supreme Court, in a far-reaching judgement, has ruled that rape cannot be invoked in cases of consensual sex after a relationship ends and the man declines to marry the woman, for whatever reason.
Pointing to clear distinction between rape and consensual sex between live-in partners, the apex court said, “The courts, in such cases, must very carefully examine whether the complainant had actually wanted to marry the victim or had mala fide motives and had made a false promise to this effect only to satisfy his lust, as the later falls within the ambit of cheating or deception.”
The ruling came as the Supreme Court quashed an FIR lodged against a doctor by a Maharashtra based nurse who were, for quite some time, in a live-in relationship.
Pre-marital relationships and consensual sex, more often arising out of live-in relationship, is not an urban phenomenon alone. Cases of women alleging rape on false promise of marriage are being reported from semi-urban areas as well as rural pockets in the country, as the recent case in Dharmasala area in Jajpur district of Odisha illustrated. Numerous such accusations have come from various parts of the state over the years.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 38,947 rape cases were reported in India in 2016. In 10,068 cases – about a quarter – the women claimed it was rape on false promise of marriage. In Andhra Pradesh state, 45% of all rape cases filed in the past two years fell into the false marriage category.
The Supreme Court ruling has not only come to the rescue of victims who have been falsely implicated, but for all those who have fallen pray to the revengeful acts of the partners.
The Sunday Guardian spoke to Delhi-based lawyer Vinay Sharma who is handling more than 90 cases that smacks of vindictiveness. Sharing his experiences, Sharma said “When a relationship ends, women who have had consensual sex make false accusations of rape under promise of marriage out of vengence, to hurt the man. Or they do it to extort money out of him, promising to withdraw the charge if he gives them what they want”.
In a latest incident, he said, “The girl’s family agreed to withdraw the charge in return for Rs five lakh,” he says. “Tell me, would any parent settle for money rather than justice if she’s really been raped?”
The only solace for men who have been falsely accused is that many of these cases are thrown out of court. The supreme court ruling related to a nurse at a government hospital in Maharashtra. She was a widow who fell in love with a doctor and moved in with him. After living together for some years, he left her and married someone else.
The judges said that having lived with the man for some years, the nurse could not allege rape. They pointed out that it was possible the doctor, on account of circumstances he could not have foreseen or could not control, was not able or willing to marry her. Whatever the reason, it was not rape. The doctor was acquitted.

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