Pre-marital sex 'immoral', not always rape, says judge

New Delhi Pre-marital sex is "immoral" and against the "tenets of every religion", a Delhi court has said while holding that every act of sexual intercourse between two adults on the promise of marriage does not become rape.

Additional sessions judge Virender Bhat also held that a woman, especially grown up, educated and office-going, who has sexual intercourse on the assurance of marriage does so "at her own peril".

"In my opinion, every act of sexual intercourse between two adults on the assurance of promise of marriage does not become rape, if the assurance or promise is not fulfilled later on by the boy," the judge said.

"When a grown up, educated and office-going woman subjects herself to sexual intercourse with a friend or colleague on the latter's promise that he would marry her, she does so at her own peril. She must be taken to understand the consequences of her act and must know that there is no guarantee that the boy would fulfil his promise.

"He may or may not do so. She must understand that she is engaging in an act which not only is immoral but also against the tenets of every religion. No religion in the world allows pre-marital sex," the court said, while acquitting an employee with a multinational company of the charges of rape.

The 29-year-old man, a resident of Punjab, was arrested by police after a month, when the woman, doing a secretarial and administrative job at a private company here, lodged a complaint of rape against him in May 2011.

In her complaint, the woman, who is an orphan, had alleged that the man, whom she had met through a chat website in July 2006, used to have physical relations with her on several occasions by promising to marry her.

When the woman got pregnant in 2008, the man instead of marrying her, asked her to abort the foetus by saying that he would marry her once his sisters get married, she had alleged.

She also told the police that even after the sisters of the accused got married, he did not marry her and instead he and his parents abused and harassed her.

However, the accused, during the trial had opposed the woman's claim and said that they became friends through a social networking website and used to meet occasionally but he never indulged in sexual intercourse with her.

The court took note of the submission of the man and said the woman was "intelligent enough" to understand the moral quality and consequences of her act, so there were no chances of her being "misled by any assurance given to" her by him.

"There is no evidence on record to show that she (woman) consented to sexual intercourse with the accused only on the latter's promise of marriage and otherwise, she would not have given her consent for the same.

"In fact, there is evidence on record in the form of e-mails and Internet chats between the two... that she had been pestering and inducing the man to have sexual intercourse with her," the court noted.

The judge further said, "I consider it not proper for a girl to engage in sexual intercourse with a boy who simply tells her that he is going to be her husband and there is nothing wrong in engaging her into sexual intercourse with him.

"It was for the girl in such circumstances to weigh the pros and cons of the intended act and to decide whether or not she should submit her body to the boy."

The judge also said, "I myself do not feel convinced and satisfied that the prosecutrix was misled by any promise or utterance of the man and she gave her consent to the sexual intercourse with him because of the same.

"It appears that the woman being a mature, educated and employed lady, understood the nature and consequence of sexual indulgence with him and agreed to have sexual intercourse only on account of her love and passion for him and not solely on account of any alleged misrepresentation."
Story First Published: January 05, 2014 09:30 IST

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