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7 Jan 2017

‘Consensual sex on promise of marriage can’t be rape’ - Bombay High Court

HT, 6 January 2016, Mumbai:Observing that when two consenting adults “consciously enter into a physical relationship, they are fully aware of the consequences and must bear the same,” the Bombay high court has discharged a man accused of rape by his former partner.
The court was hearing a plea filed by Kunal Mandaliya, seeking that charges of rape against him be quashed, since the complainant had been in a consensual relationship with him since 2010 and had alleged rape only after relations between them turned sour. The complainant, on the other hand, had argued that Mandaliya had proposed marriage to her in 2011 and on the pretext of marriage, had “forced her to have sexual relations with him”. However, two years later, he changed his mind and told her that he could not marry her, she said.
It was then that she lodged a police complaint against Mandaliya. She also alleged that while she was with Mandaliya, he would often assault her, and asked her for money.
But Justice Mridula Bhatkar, presiding over the plea, observed that the complainant was an “adult,” an “educated” one, and a “working woman,” and thus it could be assumed that she “was aware of the consequences of keeping sexual relations with a man”. She further said, “The victim is highly educated and therefore consent for physical relations cannot be said to have been obtained by fraud...,” and discharged Mandaliya of the charge of rape but refused to quash charges of cheating and assault.

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