New Delhi: A man accused of raping a woman by deceitfully making her believe that she is his legally wedded wife has been acquitted by a Delhi court which said girls voluntarily elope with their lovers but to escape their parents' scolding they lodge false case.
"They (girls) voluntarily elope with their lovers to explore the greener pastures of bodily pleasure and on return to their homes, they conveniently fabricate the story of kidnap and rape in order to escape scolds and harsh treatment from the parents.
"It is these false cases which tend to trivialize the offences of rape and undermine its gravity. A girl of this age group (19 24 years), even if belonging to a rural area, cannot be believed to be not knowing how the marriage is performed or what are the essential ceremonies of a marriage," Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat said.
The court's observation came while deciding the case of a man accused of raping his relative who had come to his house to take care of his pregnant sister-in-law (victim's sister).
The police said that in 2008, the accused in collusion with his brother, had taken photographs of the alleged victim in objectionable position with him to blackmail and pressurise her not to take any legal action against him.
When the 24-year-old woman pressured him to fulfil his promise of marriage, he took her to Jammu on the pretext of marrying her and applied vermilion on her forehead and made her believe that she was his wife, the police said.
He maintained physical relations with her by making her believe that they were husband and wife. The accused had also assaulted the girl, the police added.
The court, however, said this kind of marriage is usually resorted to when the boy and girl are in love with each other and their respective parents are against their alliance.
"The conduct of the girl in accompanying the accused to Jammu for court marriage demonstrates that she wanted to marry the accused but her parents were against this marriage. Her longing to marry the accused appears to be only out of deep love and not on account of assurance of marriage by the accused," the court added while acquitting the man.
The court also said that of late it has observed a trend where the girl says the boy took her to a room, applied vermillion on her forehead, put garland around her neck and declared that they are now husband and wife.
"Then they indulge in sexual intercourse with each other, with the consent of the girl and later on the girl alleges rape on the false assurance of marriage. This is a very disturbing trend. The girls in such cases are mostly in the age group of 19 24 years, thus mature enough to understand the consequences of their acts and not so numb to get carried away with any representations of the boy," the court said.
During the trial, the man had denied all the incriminating facts and circumstances put against him and had claimed he was falsely implicated.