In a case involving accusation of rape against a 21-year old youth by his former girlfriend, the Bombay High Court has ruled that a promise to marry cannot be considered an inducement in every rape case. The case was filed by the girl after their break-up. The order was passed by Justice Mridula Bhatkar who held that an educated girl should be responsible enough to realize the potential outcome of her decision while giving her consent to pre-marital sex.
Pointing to the increasing number of cases involving rape accusations post break-up of couples, the court said that an objective view needs to be taken in such cases and efforts should be made to balance the girl’s suffering as well as the life and liberty of the accused.
“In the event of consent obtained by fraud, inducement is a necessary ingredient. There should be some material on record to believe prima facie that the girl was induced to such an extent that she was ready to have sexual intercourse. Promise to marry cannot be said to be an inducement in these types of cases,” said Justice Bhatkar.
Commenting on the current societal trend, she said, “Since generations, there is a moral taboo that it is the responsibility of a woman to be a virgin at the time of marriage. However, today, the young generation is exposed to different interactions with each other and is well informed about sexual activities. Society is trying to be liberated but carries baggage of different notions of morality wherein sex before marriage is a matter of censure. Under such circumstances, a woman who is in love with a boy forgets that to have sex is her option like her counterpart’s but refuses to take responsibility for her decision.”