In an unusual verdict, the Bombay High Court has quashed a rape case against a 30-year-old man after he paid Rs 10 lakh to the 23-year-old victim, who is now seven months pregnant, saying it was being done under “special circumstances” and with the woman’s consent.
A bench headed by Justices Abhay Oka and Amjad Sayed, said, “We are quashing the complaint under special circumstances as the victim has consented to this and the accused has deposited Rs 10 lakh to secure her future and the unborn child.”
“The records revealed that both were in consensual relationship,” the judges observed in their order yesterday.
The bench also directed that the money paid by the Pune-based accused be kept in fixed deposit in a nationalised bank for 10 years.
The complainant would be entitled to the interest earned on the sum and at the end of the term she would be eligible to withdraw the amount, said the judges.
The complainant told the court that she had no objection to the complaint being quashed and that she would like to settle the matter while the accused agreed to deposit Rs 10 lakh for her benefit as well as for the unborn child.
The accused, during an earlier hearing, had deposited Rs five lakh with the High Court Registrar and informed on July 26 that he had deposited the remaining amount.
The victim told the court that the FIR filed against the accused was due to some misunderstanding. She said that initially a missing complaint was filed against the accused as he was not traceable. She also said that it was within her knowledge that the accused was married.
The Bund Garden police in Pune had filed an FIR on June 6 this year charging the accused under the provisions of Indian Penal Code pertaining to rape (section 376) and causing hurt (323), on a complaint filed by the victim.
The FIR said that the accused had raped the victim after promising to marry her.
Being aggrieved, the accused filed a petition in the high court seeking to quash the case.
His lawyer Rakesh Bhatnagar argued that the relationship between the two was consensual and the couple had reached a settlement. Hence, he urged, that the case be quashed.