Updated: July 12, 2021 8:23:27 am
A special court has sentenced a man to 10 years in jail for raping a woman while observing that even though the latter was an adult, she was not in a position to give valid consent due to intellectual disability.
The order relates to a 2016 incident where a complaint was filed against the 30-year-old man, a distant relative of the victim, on charges including rape.
The prosecution, led by special public prosecutor Kalpana Hire, had submitted that the victim was married and had two children but after she began suffering from epilepsy, she began staying with her parents for treatment. It was submitted that she had a developmental disability.
It was claimed that her family members noticed behavioural changes in her and on enquiry found out that the accused had raped her. The victim was taken to the hospital where reports revealed that she was pregnant. A complaint was registered at Mahim police station which then arrested the accused.
During the trial, the accused, through his lawyer, claimed the relationship between him and the victim was consensual.
“…As per medical evidence, produced on record, the intellectual age of the victim is 5 years and 4 months. The act of giving consent is related to the mental state of a person. Moreover, during cross-examination, the victim denied that she was having a love affair with the accused before or after her marriage. She also denied having a consensual physical relationship with the accused,” special judge Sanjashree J Gharat said.
The court considered the provisions of the Indian Penal Code section 376 (l), which states that whoever commits rape on a woman suffering from a mental or physical disability is guilty irrespective of her age.
“From the evidence adduced on record, the victim was suffering from mental disability though she was major her mental age was of 64 months. Therefore, her consent is no consent in the eyes of law,” the court said.
Other evidence considered by the court includes the victim’s testimony and the DNA test.
The court, on Saturday, found the man guilty on charges of rape and criminal intimidation and sentenced him to 10-year jail along with a fine of Rs 40,000. It directed that the victim be paid compensation of Rs 30,000 from the fine amount.
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