The Supreme Court acquitted a man held guilty by a Delhi court and the HC of raping a married woman, who left her husband and three children to live with the man on a marriage commitment despite knowing he was already married.
The apex court, in its judgement, disapproved of the criminalisation of soured consensual physical relationships, Times Of India reported.
Court interpreted frequently used terms
A bench comprising of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela M Trivedi cleared Delhi-based Naim Ahamed of rape charges after interpreting the phrases “consent under a misconception” and “false promise”, which women often use to indict men of rape after a consensual physical relationship goes awry due to several reasons.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising, representing the woman during the hearing, said the trial court and the HC rightly deduced that her consent for a sexual relationship with Ahamed was under the falsehood that the accused will marry her, a promise by the accused with the mala fide intentions.
However, Ahamed’s counsel Raj K Choudhary argued that the rape complaint was lodged after he could not meet the woman’s high monetary demands.
What was the case about?
The woman in the case had three children and was married. She eloped with Ahamed in 2009, abandoning her husband and kids, and gave birth to a boy in 2011.
Upon visiting the man’s home country in 2012, she learned he was married and had kids. Regardless, she filed for divorce from her husband in 2014 and gave him guardianship of her three kids.
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She reported Ahamed for rape in 2015 as he continued to avoid marriage.
Man ordered to pay for upkeep of child he had with woman
She not only betrayed her husband and children by having a relationship with Ahamed, according to Justice Trivedi, but she also made no claims against him for having sexual relations with her under false pretences of marriage after giving birth to an illegitimate child and learning that he was already married and had kids.
Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, it could not be said by any stretch of imagination that the prosecutrix had given her consent for the sexual relationship with the appellant under the misconception of fact, so as to hold the appellant guilty of having committed rape, the bench ruled.
The SC absolved Ahamed of rape charges but sustained the concurrent orders of the trial court and the HC requiring him to pay Rs 5 lakh to the woman for the sustenance of the child born through their extramarital relationship.
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