Consensual sex between man and woman is not rape: High Court of Tripura overrules Session Court’s decision

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Excerpt:

An appeal was filed by the Appellant as he claimed to be wrongly convicted for committing cheating by assuring his cousin sister to marriage for sexual intercourse. The High Court of Tripura has overruled the decision of sessions court and held the accused-Appellant not guilty.

Facts of the case: 

A complaint was filed by the woman (name undisclosed) stating that there had been a physical relationship and the Appellant used to come to her house at night and stayed there. The victim used to go to the Appellants rented house. Before complaining, the victim had insisted the Appellant to marry her, but he refused. The said affair was known to the parents of the victim as well as of the Appellant. On 25.11.2016, when the victim got the information that without pursuing her, the Appellant had settled his marriage with one girl, the victim informed her father. On taking cognizance, the police papers were committed to the Sessions Judge, Gomati District, Udaipur for trial. The Sessions Judge, Gomati District Udaipur, had transferred the said case to the Court of the Additional Sessions Judge, Gomati District Udaipur, hereinafter referred to as the trial judge, for trial. On 22.08.2017, the charge was framed under Section 417 of the IPC for cheating the victim, by deceiving or dishonestly inducing her to compromise her chastity and to have sexual intercourse on the promise of marriage and also of committing rape repeatedly.

Arguments on behalf of the Petitioner:

Mr P.K. Biswas learned senior counsel assisted by Mr P Majumder, learned counsel appearing for the Appellant denied all allegations of sexual intercourse made against him. The victim tried to ensnare the Appellant for marriage and as such, she had designed the complaint of sexual intercourse on a promise of marriage. Furthermore seeing them together is not viable as they are cousins. Learned senior counsel also stated that the fact of Appellant getting married to someone was unlikely for the victim to not know as it was under the Special Marriage Act which requires public announcement by both the families. Mr Biswas learned senior counsel submitted that the victim sent a message on 25.07.2016 that she would kill herself if the Appellant failed to give Rs.5,00,000/- to her and further similar types of messages were sent by the victim threatening the Appellant for a certain cause.

Arguments made on behalf of the Respondent:

Mr S. Ghosh, learned Additional public prosecutor appearing for the Respondent stated that there was no reason to disbelieve the testimony of PW-1 (the victim) since she has been categorically stated that on the assurance of marriage, a physical relationship between the victim and the Appellant took place and their relationship had begun in 2004. Mr Ghosh learned Addl. PP has submitted as regards the admission in the cross-examination in respect of the mobile messages. According to him, this cannot be taken into consideration, since primary documents and electronic messages have not been placed before the court. Furthermore, they insisted upon upholding the previous judgment and all the evidence produced had been thoroughly examined.

The decision of the court:

Upon hearing the learned advocates appearing for the Appellant and the Respondent, the court overruled the decision of sessions court and held the Appellant not guilty stating that this a clear case of consensual sex between an adult man and woman and as such the sexual intercourse as alleged cannot be brought as an offence is punishable.

Click here to view complete judgment.


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