Live-in-relationship is not merely residing together, it is about the commitment to be with your loved one in future as well, a Delhi court said while holding an MBA student guilty for raping several times his partner on the pretext of marrying her.
Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna, who convicted 31-year-old Hari Mohan Sharma for ravishing his live-in partner, a LL.B student, has fixed the case on December 13 for pronouncement of sentence which may extend to life imprisonment.
"Concept of live-in relationship does not mean merely residing together, rather, it means to live in a commitment or in a relation of being together in future.
"In our society, when a woman enters into this kind of relationship, she has in her mind, only a marriage in future. However, when such relationship ends abruptly, it means a lot to the woman," the court said, adding the girl was forced to abort their foetus.
Sharma, a resident of Uttar Pradesh, was arrested and later faced the trial in the case lodged by his partner in which she alleged he has raped her several times between December, 2010 and January, 2011 on the pretext of marrying her.
The police said the girl had lodged a complaint in August, 2011 when she became pregnant and Sharma had refused to marry her, saying his parents are against their affair.
Sharma had denied the rape allegation against him during the trial and said he has been falsely implicated.
However, the court rejected Sharma's plea noting that "the intention of the accused, right from the beginning, was never honest and he kept on promising her that he would marry her".
The court said the accused very well knew that his father would be against the love marriage and would not pay his fee but even then he continued "misusing" the girl till she became pregnant.
The court further noted that the accused "is an adult male who had chosen to have sexual relation with the victim girl and thereafter making a lame excuse that his father would not pay the fee(s) if he would marry her is nothing but was an attempt to wriggle himself out of such relationship”.
"Thus, the kind of consent obtained by the accused cannot be said to be free consent because the prosecutrix was under a misconception of fact that the accused intends to marry her, therefore, she had submitted to sexual intercourse with him," the judge said, citing the Supreme Court's recent judgment that "it is a settled law that submission of a woman cannot be treated as her consent".
While convicting Sharma, the judge said the "I am of the considered view that the consent of the victim to have physical relations with the accused was given by the girl on the promise of marriage by Sharma who knew from very beginning because of the attitude of his parents that the said promise was a false one and hence the consent of the prosecutrix was not a free consent.
"It has come on record that whenever the prosecutrix asked the accused to marry her, he avoided it on one pretext or the other but continued having physical relations with her till she was made pregnant. He even left her alone during her pregnancy, hence the accused stands guilty for the offence under section 376 (rape) of IPC," the judge said.
It also said the woman has been given a special status by our constitution-makers and the laws need to be interpreted in favour of destitute girls.
"It cannot be ignored that in a patriarchal society, like ours, such a girl has to face the tough world ahead, once left in such a miserable position by a robust educated male, here an MBA, who would conveniently forget such girl to marry another suitable girl to lead a life of his choice, leaving such victim in a lurch with a feeling of being cheated in her life by one and all," the judge added.