Physical relations between a husband and wife, even if they are against the woman’s consent, does not tantamount to rape, a Delhi court has said while freeing a man of the charges of rape.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Virender Bhat made these observations while acquitting a man who was accused of raping a woman, who was living as his tenant, after giving her sedatives-laced soft drink. He was also accused of raping her after marrying her.
“It is the case of the prosecution itself that the accused performed Nikah with the prosecutrix (woman) in the house of his paternal aunt (Bua) in presence of a maulvi (muslim cleric) on July 20, 2012.
“The prosecutrix and the accused were legally wedded husband and wife from July 20, 2012 and the physical relations between the two thereafter, even if against the consent of the prosecutrix, do not tantamount to offence of rape,” the court said.
It absolved Delhi resident Aftab Alam in the case saying that the testimony of the woman was “suspicious” and far from being “credible or trustworthy”.
“The conscience of this court does not permit it to believe the version of the prosecution. The accused deserves
to be given the benefit of doubt. Accordingly, the accused is hereby acquitted of all the charges,” the court said.
“This court is not inclined to believe the version of the prosecution. The testimony of the prosecutrix is suspicious and far from being credible or trustworthy,” it said.
According to the prosecution, Alam, being the son of the woman’s landlord, came to her house on July 19, 2012, and gave her an intoxicated drink after which she felt unconscious and he raped her.
On the next day, he took her to his aunt’s place and married her in the presence of a maulvi and raped her several times, it said, adding that Alam asked her to go back to her house.
He later on raped her at his house and at his friends place and after sometime, he burnt their marriage documents and refused to take her to her matrimonial house, it claimed.
The police said after a few days when the accused along with his father and brother came to the woman to collect rent, they had a quarrel after which she lodged a complaint at Bindapur Police Station that she was raped by Alam.
Alam’s father and brother were earlier discharged in the case by the court.
During the trial, Alam claimed that he was innocent and was falsely implicated in the case.
The court, in its judgement, said that the conduct of the woman in accompanying the man “voluntarily and willingly” on the next day is also highly unnatural and goes against the prosecution case.
“It beats all imagination to say that a rape victim would voluntarily accompany the rapist on the subsequent date after the incident of rape,” it said.
The court noted that in her statement before a magistrate, the woman had stated for the first time that the man used to take her to the house of his friend at Bindapur daily where he used to have sexual intercourse with her.
“Apparently, these incidents of sexual intercourse appear to be consensual,” it added.
It said the woman’s statements were not reliable and she has not mentioned either in her complaint or statement, the date, month and year, on which she was raped by the accused after making her unconscious.
“The date has been mentioned by the prosecutrix for the first time in her testimony before this court as July 19, 2012. With no explanation, this creates a doubt in the mind of the court regarding veracity of testimony of the prosecutrix in this regard,” the court said.