Friday, August 19, 2022

Bombay HC rejects bail plea of man accused of impregnating woman under pretext of marriage

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The Bombay High Court has rejected the anticipatory bail application of a man accused of impregnating a woman under the pretext of marriage.

A single bench of Justice Bharati Dangre passed this order while hearing an anticipatory bail application filed by Ashish Ashok Chakor.

The applicant is apprehending his arrest in C.R No 462 of 2022 lodged with M.H.B Colony Police Station for offences punishable under Sections 376(2)(n), 376(2)(h) and 417 of the IPC.

The complainant is a woman aged 22, who was briefly acquainted with the applicant. Somewhere in 2019, when she alongwith her friend had visited a residential premises of a third friend, the applicant is alleged to have committed forcible sexual intercourse with her.

When she opposed, he expressed that he likes her and in any case, he is going to marry her. Thereafter, on multiple occasions, the act was repeated.

The complainant herself has narrated the repeated incidents when they indulged into sex, on an assurance by the applicant that he is going to marry her. The complainant conceived and was found to be six weeks’ pregnant.

She immediately contacted the applicant, but he refused to take up any responsibility and on the other hand, attributed it to her bad character and alleged that she is in a relationship with some other person.

She repeatedly kept requesting the applicant to marry her, but he refused.

The Court noted,

Upon such a complaint, referring to the incidents occurring between 17/05/2019 to 27/04/2022, the complaint has been lodged. As far as the last incident is concerned, even on 27/04/2022, the complainant states that he had forcibly committed sexual intercourse with her.

Reading of the complaint would reveal that the woman, who is major, developed a liking for the applicant, but her version as far as the sexual relationship is concerned, is that she permitted it, since the applicant gave a promise of marriage.

The sexual relationship was established on multiple occasions on the promise of marriage. However, when the woman conceived, the applicant attributed infidelity, but once again committed forcible sexual intercourse with her on the last date as mentioned in the complaint.

The Court observed,

Merely sharing friendly relationship with a woman does not permit a man to take her for granted and construe it as her consent to establish physical relationship. In today’s society when a man and woman are working together, it is quite possible that proximity may develop between them, being either mentally compatible or confiding in each other as friends, ignoring the gender, since friendship is not gender based.

However, this friendship with the person of fairer sex, does not confer a licence upon a man to force himself upon her, when she specifically refused copulation. Every woman expects ‘Respect’ in a relationship, be it in the nature of friendship based on mutual affection.

Here is the applicant, who is accused of maintaining sexual relationship on the pretext of marriage, but when the complainant conceived, he walked out alleging that pregnancy carried by her is on account of her relationship with other persons.

“The accusations faced by the applicant definitely require a thorough investigation to ascertain the version of the prosecutrix that she was forced to give her consent for sex,” the Court said while rejecting the anticipatory bail application.

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