Refusal to marry after sex is not rape: Bombay High Court

Hearing a case filed by a jilted girlfriend, the court said she was an adult who had consented to sexual relations and couldn’t term it rape

The Bombay High Court made a landmark observation yesterday, stating that it was wrong to call it ‘rape’ if a man refuses to marry a woman after they have consensual sex.

This observation — which will come as a relief to men’s rights activists — was made by Justice Mrudula Bhatkar while hearing an anticipatory bail application in a rape case filed by a 22-year-old Mumbai girl.

She had met a 24-year-old boy from Solapur last March, and the two became physically intimate. They would regularly meet at a city hotel, but when the girl denied sex, the boy allegedly began to assault her and refused to marry her.

The girl then approached the Goregaon police and registered a rape case against the boy, after which he approached the High Court for anticipatory bail.

“It’s not rape. She should have said no to the boy. She is a major,” observed Justice Bhatkar, while granting anticipatory bail to the boy on a surety of R25,000. Bhatkar added that if the lovers are adults, educated and had consented to sexual relations, it cannot amount to rape.

The justice also asked the boy to not trouble the complainant or her relatives, or visit her neighbourhood.

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