Published On: Tue, Jun 28th, 2022

Friendly ties no licence for forced sex, says Bombay HC | Mumbai News – Times of India

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Bombay high court. (File image)

MUMBAI: Merely sharing a friendly relationship with a woman does not permit a man to take her for granted and construe it as consent to establish physical relationship, said Justice Bharati Dangre of the Bombay HC, while rejecting a pre-arrest bail plea filed by a man in a rape case.
The complainant, a 22-year-old woman, said she was only briefly acquainted with the man. She claimed when she and a friend visited the residence of a common friend in 2019, the accused allegedly “committed forcible sexual intercourse with her” and when she opposed, he said he liked her and was in any case “going to marry her”.
‘Refused to take responsibility for pregnancy, accused of infidelity’
Denying bail to an accused in a case filed by a 22- year-old woman against him for forcing himself on her through May 2019 and April 27, 2022 on assurance of marriage, the Bombay HC said that he allegedly refused her repeated requests to marry her. In her complaint, she said that even when she had conceived and was six-week pregnant, she tried to stop him, but he refused to take any responsibility and accused her of infidelity.
The FIR against the accused has been lodged under IPC sections 376 (2) (n) (commits rape repeatedly on the same woman) and 376 (2)(h) (commits rape on a woman knowing her to be pregnant) and for cheating. The HC said her version is that she permitted sexual relationship only because she was promised marriage. “When a man and woman are working together, it is quite possible that proximity may develop between them, being either mentally compatible or confiding in each other as friends, ignoring the gender, since friendship is not gender-based.
However, this friendship with the person of fairer sex does not confer a licence upon a man to force himself upon her when she specifcally refuses copulation,” said Justice Dangre, adding that “every woman expects ‘respect’ in a relationship”. “Here is the applicant, who is accused of maintaining sexual relationship on the pretext of marriage, but when the complainant conceived, he walked out alleging that the pregnancy carried by her is on account of her relationship with other persons,” the court noted. This accusation definitely requires a thorough investigation to ascertain the complainant’s version that she was forced to consent, said the HC rejecting the accused plea.


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