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A girl’s friendliness cannot be understood as her consent to instigate sexual relationship : Mumbai High Court

Socio Legal Corp

Written by Neena Nagare

The Mumbai High Court last week in a landmark judgement established that simply because a girl is friendly with a boy, does not enable him to interpret it as a consent to instigate sexual relationship with her.

The accused pleaded for an anticipatory bail on the understanding that an FIR was lodged against him by the Mumbai Police. In accordance with the FIR, the complainant was friends with the accused. In 2019, while at a common friend’s place the accused tried to rape the complainant. As she opposed, he expressed his liking for her and promised to marry her in the future. The sexual relationship continued under the pretext of marriage until the complainant became pregnant and the accused then denied marrying her or to take accountability for her pregnancy while alleging infidelity on her part. In spite of this, the accused still had sexual intercourse with the complainant twice before the FIR was lodged.

While rejecting his anticipatory bail, the single-judge Justice Bharati Dangre observed in her orders, “Merely sharing friendly relationship with a girl do not permit a boy to take her for granted and construe it as her consent to establish physical relationship. In today’s society when a man and woman are working together, it is quite possible that proximity may develop between them, being either mentally compatible or confiding in each other as friends, ignoring the gender, since friendship is not gender based. However, this friendship with the person of fairer sex, does not confer a licence upon a man to force himself upon her, when she specifically refuse copulation,” 

In a much powerfully framed order Justice Dangre stated that “every woman expects respect in any relationship.

She noted that the complainant only agreed to the sexual intercourse on the promise of marriage. “Here is the applicant, who is accused of maintaining sexual relationship on the pretext of marriage, but when the complainant conceived, he walked out alleging that pregnancy carried by her is on account of her relationship with other persons. The accusations faced by the applicant definitely require a thorough investigation to ascertain the version of the prosecutrix that she was forced to give her consent for sex,” the judge said.

Evidently the anticipatory bail application was dismissed.

Case: Ashish Chakor v. State of Maharashtra


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