When a girl does not give her consent for physical intimacy, it must be “necessarily” treated as her “no”, a Delhi court has said while awarding 10 years rigorous imprisonment to a man for repeatedly raping a woman on the pretext of marriage.The court also said that a woman’s consent for physical relations cannot be “presumed” merely on the ground that she was having a love affair with the man.
“To my mind, a girl when she does not give her willingness or consent for sexual relations, it must necessarily be treated as her ‘no’ and it cannot be said that since she was having a love affair with the accused, she must have also necessarily consented for entering into sexual relations with him.
“In other words, her consent for physical intimacy cannot be presumed merely because she was having a love affair with the accused,” Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja said.
The court held Rajiv Mourya, a resident of Paharganj in Central Delhi, guilty of the offences of inducing the woman to compel her for marriage, repeatedly raping her and criminally intimidating her under the IPC.
According to prosecution, the 26-year-old woman lodged a complaint at Paharganj Police Station alleging that she and Mourya were living in neighbourhood and they became friends from November, 2013 and he made a marriage proposal to her, saying he would discuss it with their families.
The man had asked the woman not to discuss it with anyone and they continued to remain in touch and went for outings.
On April 6, 2014, the man took her to hotel in Paharganj on the pretext of a friend’s birthday party and forcibly established physical relations with her twice, police said.
When she objected, Mourya said he will marry her and whenever she asked him about marriage, he repeatedly gave her the assurance of doing so soon.
Later on, the man refused to marry her and asked her to commit suicide and end the matter and also threatened to defame her society, prosecution said adding that the victim narrated the facts to her mother and lodged a complaint.
The court imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on Mourya and said if realised, the amount be given to the woman as compensation.
It also recommended adequate compensation to the victim under the provisions of the CrPC and directed Delhi Legal Services Authority (Central district) to take necessary action.
During the trial, Mourya claimed innocence and said he was falsely implicated in the case. He alleged that the woman had accompanied him to the hotel of her own free will.
The court, however, convicted him saying though it was borne out from the woman’s testimony that she willingly accompanied Mourya to the hotel, it was apparent that she did not give her consent for establishing physical relations with him in the hotel that day.
“The mere fact that the woman and accused were interested in marrying each other and that she accompanied him to the hotel ostensibly for a birthday party cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be taken as a substitute for her consent for entering into sexual relations with him,” the court said.
Relying on the woman’s statement, the court said her testimony was “natural, inspired confidence and merits acceptance”.
“She has categorically claimed that she objected when accused established physical relations with her and started crying. But, she remained quite believing his assurance that he would marry her.
“The consent of the woman for sexual relations, in these circumstances, was certainly absent when Mourya established physical relations with her,” it said.