In a very objective and balanced judgement by Justice Bhatkar, Bombay High Court ruled that a promise to marry cannot be considered an inducement in every rape case. The judgement came out while granting pre-arrest bail to a 21-year-old youth after his former girlfriend lodged a case of rape following their break-up. Justice Mridula Bhatkar held that an educated girl who has consented to have pre-marital sex should take responsibility for her decision.

“In the event of consent obtained by fraud, inducement is a necessary ingredient. There should be some material on record to believe prima facie that the girl was induced to such an extent that she was ready to have sexual intercourse. Promise to marry cannot be said to be an inducement in these types of cases,” said Justice Bhatkar.

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The judge said that though society is changing, it still carries out the practice of moral policing. “Since generations, there is a moral taboo that it is the responsibility of a woman to be a virgin at the time of marriage. However, today, the young generation is exposed to different interactions with each other and is well informed about sexual activities. Society is trying to be liberated but carries the baggage of different notions of morality wherein sex before marriage is a matter of censure.Under such circumstances, 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.”

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The court referred to the rising trend of criminal prosecutions for rape initiated by girls after getting dumped by their partners and said that the court needs to take an unbiased view and balance the life and freedom of the accused with the sufferings of the girl.

It quoted its earlier orders where it had held that an adult and educated woman is supposed to know the consequences of a pre-marital sexual relationship.

The Indian Feed respects the judgement of High Court and expects this kind of erudite and rationale judgement in future also which is a necessary ingredient for making a positive and inclusive society.

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