“Non-Resistance At First Time Sexual Assault Amounts To Preconsent”: Madras HC

Madras HC
The Madras HC said in a judgement that “non-resistance” during sexual assault for the first time “amounts to pre consent” during hearing the case of a man being accused under Section 376 (Punishment for sexual assault).

The accused man and the rape survivor resided in the same village according to reports. They fell in love and were meeting in the evening hours. This continued for a year. The woman then asked the man to marry her. Hearing this, he agreed on the condition of fulfilling his lust.

Following this, the accused forcefully sexually assaulted the woman in 2009. She thereafter became pregnant and requested the accused again to marry her. According to reports, the survivor’s parents also requested the accused’s parent’s to wed the couple but they demanded a dowry of 10 sovereigns of gold and Rupees one lakh. The accused asked the woman to abort the child and refused to marry her. 

After this, a Panchayat was called and the survivor was guided to file a police complaint. Additional Session Judge, Mahila Court, Madurai, found him guilty of rape under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code and he was convicted.

After this matter was taken to the High Court, the court noted that the woman was delayed by two and half months in registering the complaining. The Bench comprising of Justice R. Pongiappan said in its statement, “the non-raising the resistance at the time of committing the sexual assault as from first time by the accused, it amounts to pre-consent. Accordingly, the consent given by the victim girl, cannot be held as a misconception of fact.”

This judgement comes after a ruling given by the High Court of Kerala. The HC said that, ” When a woman is ravished, a deep sense of deathless shame is caused to her more than the physical injuries. No doubt rape is one of the most heinous atrocities committed on a woman in our society.” The High Court noted that because of the shame that is brought upon the survivor, she is not able to reveal her ordeal to anyone.

The court added, ” …of course, the alleged incident was on July 9, 2016. She preferred the complaint almost after four years. Law is well settled that delay in lodging the FIR in a rape case is not of much significance.”