Tripura High Court: Liberty to Have Sexual Intercourse is Only Permitted to a Person with Whom One is in Passionate Love

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In the case of Md. Burhan Uddin v. State of Tripura, the High Court quashed the judgment of the North Tripura District Court. The District Court had convicted the accused of rape. As a result, the accused filed an appeal against the District Court’s judgment.

Facts of the Case

The victim filed a complaint against the appellants in the Kadamtala police station on 28.05.2015. She stated that a man named Burhan Uddin raped her with the help of her neighbour named Ruhela Begum. Then the victim filed a case against both of the appellants. The Special Judge framed the charges against Burhan Uddin and Ruhela Begum. Therefore, Burhan was charged under Section 376(i), Section 34 of IPC and Section 5(g) of the POCSO Act,2012. However, Burhan pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Ruhela Begum was also charged under the same sections and she also pleaded her innocence.

Arguments of the Petitioner

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that Ruhela Begum (Appellant 2) had asked the victim to come to her house. The victim was her neighbour and assisted her in activities related to her daughter’s marriage. Burhan Uddin ( Appellant 1) also visited Ruhela’s hut to help her. All three were from the same village. One day he pressed the victim’s mouth with a handkerchief and committed rape on her in Ruhela’s hut. Moreover, he committed rape against the victim’s desire.

The victim narrated the whole incident to Ruhela Begum, who asked her to stay quiet. She also proposed a marriage between the victim and Burhan. Further, the mother of the victim came to know that the victim was 5 months pregnant. The victim informed Burhan and asked to marry him. Burhan refused to marry her and Ruhela Begum also denied the whole incident.

He submitted that the victim used to pay visits to Ruhela’s house. Here, she and Burhan developed physical relations. Further, he submitted that the victim had consented only on the promise of marriage. He asserted that Burhan had promised to marry her.

Arguments of the Respondent

Mr Nandi, learned counsel for the respondent, submitted that both the appellants were implicated with the instant case. He submitted that the prosecutrix and appellant Burhan willingly involved in sexual intercourse. The prosecutrix consented to such physical relations. There are no ingredients of Section 376(D)/34 of IPC to punish the appellants under these offences.

Court’s Observation

The Court found that the victim used to visit Ruhela Begum’s hut. Moreover, she had permitted Burhan Uddin to involve in sexual intercourse with her. In the Court’s opinion, “this liberty is only permitted to a person with whom one is in passionate love”. She did not divulge their relationship to anyone. She even suppressed the fact of alleged ‘rape’ to her mother. Her mother was unaware of the relationship and its basis.

Moreover, she did not know that the relationship was based on a promise of marriage. Only when she found that she was five months pregnant, she informed her mother. There is no evidence that the appellant Burhan Uddin had promised to marry her before the sexual intercourse. So, there is no offence under Sec.375.

Court also referred the decision of the Apex Court in Pramod Suryabhan Pawar v. State of Maharashtra & Anr.; Kaini Rajan v State of Kerala (2013); and Anurag Soni v. the State of Chhattisgarh, reported in (2019) to arrive at this conclusion.

Court’s Decision

The Court disagreed with the findings of the learned Special Judge. It set aside and quashed the judgment of the District Court. It acquitted the appellants from all charges levelled against them. They are set at liberty. The Court also discharged the surety(s) of their bail bond.


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