Bombay HC cites consensual relationship to exonerate rape accused

Justice Mridula Bhatkar while clearing the accused Kunal Mandaliya of the charge said he and the woman had been in a consensual relationship since 2010.

| Mumbai | Published: January 5, 2017 7:15 pm
bombay high court, rape case, consensual sex, consensual sexual involvement, rape accused acquitted, accused acquitted, mumbai rape case, kunal mandaliya, kunal mandaliya cleared, mumbai news, indian express news Mandaliya had sought discharge on the ground that the sexual relation between him and the woman, a professor at a local college, was with mutual agreement. (File Photo)

Observing that when two adults “consciously” enter into a physical relationship they are fully aware of the consequences, the Bombay High Court has discharged a man accused of rape by his former partner after he refused to marry her. Justice Mridula Bhatkar while clearing the accused Kunal Mandaliya of the charge said he and the woman had been in a consensual relationship since 2010.

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Mandaliya had sought discharge on the ground that the sexual relation between him and the woman, a professor at a local college, was with mutual agreement. However, Justice Bhatkar didn’t discharge Mandaliya from the charges of cheating, criminal intimidation and assault, for which he would have to stand trial. The woman had accused him of assaulting her on several occasions and taking away her money when they were in relationship.

The duo had met in 2010 and started a relationship. In her complaint with police, the woman claimed Mandaliya proposed marriage in 2011 and thereafter forced her to have sexual relations with him a number of times. She lodged the complaint with police in 2011 accusing Mandaliya of rape and cheating after the latter refused to marry her.

After perusing the case details, the HC observed that the woman, at the time of filing complaint, was 30-year-old and was around 26 when the first incident of sexual intercourse had taken place. “Thus, she was aware of the consequences of keeping sexual relations with a man and she was also aware that there may be differences between two persons and they may not find each other compatible,” the HC stated.

The judge said, “The woman is highly educated and therefore consent for physical relations cannot be said to have been obtained by fraud. It was a conscious decision to keep sexual relations with a man. Having such a relationship is a matter of choice of both the adult persons.”

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