'Their relationship was consensual': Supreme Court acquits man in 20-year-old rape case

Updated: 01 October, 2020 11:32 IST | mid-day online correspondent | New Delhi

The Supreme Court bench said that the letters exchanged between the two and their photographs together showed they were in love

Supreme Court
Supreme Court

The Supreme Court acquitted a man in a 20-year-old rape case, observing that the accused and the alleged victim were in love and their relationship was consensual. The apex court said that the case was "an afterthought" filed when the man was about to marry another woman.

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Setting aside the conviction by a trial court and the Jharkhand High Court, the bench quoted the medical experts, which had established that the woman was 25-year-old when she filed the case in 1999, and not 20 as she claimed, thereby making her a major at the time of the alleged assault in 1995.

The SC bench, comprising of Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee, said the letters exchanged between the two and their photographs together showed they were in love, reports NDTV. It further stated that a case of rape and cheating on the pretext of marriage was filed a week ahead of the man's wedding with another woman.

The court further said that after being sexually assaulted at knife-point, no woman would write love letters to the accused and share a live-in relationship with him for four years. In her complaint, the woman had claimed that she stayed quiet after the assault because the accused promised to marry her.

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"The marriage between them could not materialize due to societal reasons as the man belongs to a Scheduled Tribe, while the woman is a Christian... The woman had deposed that their marriage could not be solemnized because they belonged to different religions. She was therefore conscious of this obstacle all along..." the court stated.

The court said that on the basis of evidence, it was not possible to hold that the man never intended to marry her. The apex court quoted the woman's letters in which she had acknowledged that the man's family always treated her well and that their families even got them engaged.

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First Published: 01 October, 2020 11:00 IST

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