In a remarkable judgement given by the Bombay High Court, the judge said that a promise for marriage cannot be considered as an inducement in every rape case. This judgement was given by Justice Mridula Bhatkar in a case filed by a girl against her 21-year-old former boyfriend following their breakup. Justice Bhatkar said that an educated girl who has taken the step to have pre-marital sex should also bear the responsibility of her decision.
“In case of consent got by fraud, inducement is a key element. There should be some substantial evidence on record proving that the girl was induced to such an extent that she was ready to get intimated. In such type of cases, promise to marry cannot be considered as an inducement,” said Justice Bhatkar
“In our society, having pre-marital sex has been considered a taboo and states that it’s a morality of women to be a virgin till the time of marriage. However, with the time and generation, society is trying to be liberated but carries the baggage of different notions of morality wherein sex before marriage is a matter of censure. Now in such situations, a woman who is in love with a boy forgets that to have sex is her option like her counterpart’s but refuses to take responsibility for her decision,” Justice Bhatkar added.
The court focused on the increased tendency of criminal prosecutions for rape initiated after a relationship ends and said that the court needs to take an objective view on the favour of both the parties.
It mentioned its earlier judgements where it had held that when a woman is an adult and educated, she must be aware of the after-effects of a pre-marital sexual relationship.