KOCHI: An educated woman engaging in sex multiple times with a person who has promised to marry her can only be treated as consensual and not rape, says the Kerala high court. Even an uneducated woman cannot be cheated more than once or twice on the promise of marriage, the court said while setting aside a conviction for rape.
The court was considering an appeal filed by 31-year-old Ratheesh Ramachandran of Ernakulam challenging a sessions court’s judgment of April 2012 convicting him for rape. The complainant, a 27-year-old engineering graduate, had alleged in August 2008 that she was taken to a hotel where the accused had sex with her with force and she was thereafter subjected to sexual intercourse thrice at her home on different dates.
When he retracted from the promise to marry her in April 2008, she had attempted to commit suicide, the complaint had said. In his defence, the accused had contended that it a falsely foisted case due to despair in love and that the sexual relationships were with her consent. The trial court had sentenced the accused to undergo simple imprisonment for seven years and to pay a fine of Rs10,000.
Acquitting the appellant, the court said in the judgment, “An analysis of the evidence given by the lady will show that the lady had intercourse with the accused on many occasions at her residence. Even a common lady or an uneducated lady cannot be deceived more than once or twice on a promise of marriage. PW1 (complainant) is a well educated lady having a degree in engineering. It is quite unbelievable that she could be easily deceived on a marriage promise on many occasions. Admittedly, three or four such instances were at her residence, when her parents were away. Much probe is not required in this case to find that the sexual intercourse which the prosecutrix had with the accused on many occasions at her house was with her consent.”
During the trial, a letter written by the complainant to a woman to whom the accused later proposed to and decided to marry was produced. Also, an email sent by the complainant to the accused after filing of the complaint was also adduced as evidence. The complainant had admitted during trial that both the letters were written by her.
In the judgment, the high court pointed out that the letters clearly show that the complainant had an illicit affair with the accused and she had sex with him several times with full consent and will. The complaint alleging rape was filed when the accused decided to marry another woman and when the complainant’s efforts to dissuade him failed, the court said.
Declaring that the appellant is not guilty of the offence of rape, the court held, “On an appreciation of the entire evidence including the Ext.D1 and D4 documents (letters) admitted in clear terms by the prosecutrix, I find that this is a clear case of consent, and that the sexual intercourse was not at any time vitiated by any false promise. In the above circumstances, a conviction under Section 376 IPC (rape) is not possible at all. I find that the accused was wrongly found guilty by the court below.”