A Mumbai Court recently acquitted a man of rape and other charges under the Indian Penal Code noting that sending sexually explicit messages to a woman whom the accused was proposing to marry and who had not raised any objection to the same at the relevant point of time, will not amount to insulting her modesty under IPC Section 509.
The court noted that the accused had sent the messages to the woman who at the relevant time had not raised any objection to the same and had also expressed her desire to marry him.
“Sending such messages in such a premarital period, may delight the other one. It may give happiness, may give the feeling that someone is closer to him or her, to understand his/her emotions,” Additional Sessions Judge DD Khoche.
The woman met the accused, Jignesh Chandulal Vyas, through a matrimonial website in 2007. The two had promised to marry each other despite strong opposition from the man’s mother. They started living together.
Eventually, the relationship started turning sour and the marriage could not take place. Feeling deceived, the woman filed a complaint against the accused under Section 509 and Section 420 of Indian Penal Code besides Dowry Prohibition Act. Later on, rape charges were also added on the grounds that the accused developed physical relationship with her by making a false promise to marry her.
“In the event there was displeasure from the woman’s side, she should have conveyed the same to the man and he may not have repeated the mistake. The purpose of it, was to put up his expectation before her, to arouse her with similar feeling of sex, which may give the happiness even to her etc. However, in no way those such SMSs can be said as were sent to insult her modesty. There is no intention in sending such SMSs. Had there been such intention, the words could have reflected the same,” said the order.
Taking note of all the submissions, the court noted that sexual relationship between the two parties was not forceful, but it was the sexual relationship which had taken place by both the major parties at their own wish to experience the sex prior to the marriage.
“Based on evidence that it was the self decision of the informant to go for such sexual intercourse but it was not the case that the promise of marriage was false. Even after respecting the emotions of the informant, respecting her fighting for justice for long period of near about 11 years or more, this Court is of humble opinion that this is not the case which would show that the offence of rape has been committed by the accused,” noted Justice Khoche.
While failing to find any intention of giving a false promise of marriage, the court noted, “But it was the quarrel on the ground of stay after marriage and thereafter, by getting tired of his indecisiveness and getting surrendered before his mother’s wish and failing to handle and tackle the problem stood before him in proper manner, he came back. …it is certainly not the case of false promise of marriage. Rather it is the case of his failure to make substantial efforts.”
The major reason deduced behind their quarrels was the place of residence after marriage.
“It is usual practice in Hindu tradition that all members in family reside together. Even the new bride, who comes after the marriage at her in-laws house, does not start to stay separately with her husband immediately, but follows the tradition as far as possible or at least for a year or some months to stay together with in-laws. Therefore, it is also a tradition in Hindu families that while fixing the marriage, the groom and bride seek consent of their relatives or at least family members,” stated Justice Khoche.