Observes that girl was not a minor at the time,gave her consent
Holding that sex by consent between a couple would not amount to rape the Bombay High court recently acquitted a 23-year-old labourer of all the charges and set aside the ten-year punishment handed down to him by a sessions court in 1997.
A single bench of Justice A B Chaudhari acquitted Bhaurav Sambha Kumre,a resident of Nagpur,on March 12.
The court observed,At the outset,reading of evidence of the victim given to the trial court and the first information report lodged by her,clearly show that the victim was a consenting party. According to the prosecution the accused and the victim knew each other as they used to stay nearby. In 1997 the victim was sexually exploited by the accused. After the victim conceived a child her mother came to know about the pregnancy and a complaint was lodged with the police.
Defence counsel for the accused D B Walthare argued before the court that the sessions court judgment was not proper as the victim was wholly a consenting party to the entire episode thus it could no be termed as rape. It was only after her parents realised that she was pregnant that a report was lodged with the police when the attempts to reconcile with the accused failed.
Further the victims age at the time of the incident was 16 years and nine months and therefore she was not a minor under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code.
The prosecution opposed the plea stating that subsequent sexual intercourse between accused and the victim even if by consent,will not take away the first act of rape.
However,the court observed,The conduct of prosecutrix from the beginning till end in unequivocal terms show that she was a consenting party. She being a consenting party and above 16 years of age as held by the trial court,no offence of rape is constituted. Further she has not stated the theory of promise of marriage for performing sexual intercourse in her evidence. For all the reasons therefore there was neither any promise to marry for committing sexual intercourse nor want of consent from the prosecutrix.
The court allowed the affidavit filed by the accused promising the victim an amount of Rs 54,000,which she could use for her or the child borne out of them being together.