Maharashtra Court Acquits Man of Rape Charges in Live-in Relationship, Cites Insufficient Evidence
The accused and the complainant were in a consensual live-in relationship and their relation cannot come under the definition of rape, the court reiterated.
Illustration by Mir Suhail (News18)
Thane: A Maharashtra court has acquitted a 36-year-old man of charges of raping and cheating his live-in partner on the pretext of marriage, observing that their relationship does not come under the definition of rape.
District judge S A Sinha in her order last Thursday said the prosecution miserably failed to prove the charges against the accused, Shwet Vijay Kamal Sinha, a resident of
neighbouring Mumbai, and he needs to be freed.
According to the prosecution, the 39-year-old woman, who resided at Mira Road here and ran a salon, came in contact with the accused in 2001 and they got into a relationship. The man insisted they continue their relation and even promised to marry her. He was jobless and the woman used to help him financially, the prosecution said.
When the woman asked him for marriage, he cited excuses like their different castes and she being elder to him, it said.
In 2007, the woman married another person but separated from him within a year. The accused then again came in contact with her. The two continued their relationship and the woman became pregnant. According to the prosecution, the accused asked her to abort the baby, but she refused and gave birth to a girl in 2010.
As the accused did not get married to the woman and threatened her, she lodged a complaint against him and he was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 376 (rape), 417 (cheating), 506 (criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult with an intent to provoke breach of peace). The judge said during her cross-examination, the woman admitted to being in a live-in relationship with the accused.
"Thus, it cannot be said that the accused forcibly had sexual intercourse with her against her will. The accused and the complainant were in a live-in relationship and their relation cannot come under the definition of rape," the judge said.
The man's lawyer also submitted that his client did not refuse paternity of the girl child and took responsibility of her and also paid maintenance to the woman. "Therefore, I am of the view that the prosecution miserably failed to prove that the accused raped the woman on the pretext of marriage," the judge observed.
"There is also no satisfactory evidence of cheating, insulting, abusing and threatening the complainant. Hence, no more discussion is required," she said while acquitting the accused.
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