The apex court recently ruled that if a person gets sexually involved with a woman on the fake promise of marrying her then it would be considered rape and a blow to the honour of a woman, NDTV reported. The bench, comprising of Justices L Nageswara Rao and MR Shah, was hearing the case filed by a woman accusing a Chhattisgarh-based doctor of raping her in 2013. They ordered that despite the fact that the survivor and the accused have settled back into their lives separately, the crime does not become null and void.

It noted that such incidents are on a rise these days and rape offends a woman’s dignity and esteem. “It tantamounts to a serious blow to the supreme honour of a woman and offends both her esteem and dignity,” said the bench.

Based out of Koni, Bilaspur, the woman knew the accused since 2009 and had a love affair with him. Her family knew the accused and that he had promised to marry her. It was later revealed that he was already engaged to another woman. He also broke up with her and married the woman he was already engaged with. She registered an FIR against him and he was convicted of raping her.

The Chhattisgarh High Court maintained his conviction and sentenced him to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. Then when the accused moved his plea to SC, the bench observed, “Rape is the most morally and physically reprehensible crime in a society, an assault on the body, mind and privacy of the victim. While a murderer destroys the physical frame of the victim, a rapist degrades and defiles the soul of a helpless female. Rape reduces a woman to an animal, as it shakes the very core of her life.”

The bench added in the judgment that the evidences provided during the trial point towards the fact that he never intended to marry the victim and established sexual relation on the pretext of marriage with the woman. This was rape, said the court. It noted that the rapist must face the consequences of the crime.

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While the court stated that the accused clearly deceived the survivor and had he not promised to marry her, she wouldn’t have established a sexual relationship but also reduced his punishment from 10 years to seven years.

There are several such cases where even in an arranged marriage setting, men approach women to fulfil their sexual desire before marriage and women never calculate all these things. They find it difficult to upset their future husband so they succumb to it and later these men have refused to marry the women.

Such cases also give way to a lot of argument around fake rape cases being filed increasingly. A former project officer at Jagori, Chaitali, who has dealt with several cases of fake marriage proposals, told SheThePeople.TV, “There are several such cases where even in an arranged marriage setting, men approach women to fulfil their sexual desire before marriage and women never calculate all these things. They find it difficult to upset their future husband so they succumb to it and later these men have refused to marry the women.” But in such cases at least there is evidence of men agreeing to marry the woman so redressal could be easier.

However, she said that in love marriage it is very difficult to produce evidence if the family is not involved. Even today our patriarchal structure in the society feeds women that if they get into a sexual relationship with one man then they have to marry that same man or they will lose their respect and dignity,” Chaitali added.

Picture credit- STP original

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