“A woman’s body is not a man’s play thing,” Madhya Pradesh high court observed on Thursday as it dismissed a petition filed by man accused of raping a woman on the false promise of marriage.
A week ago, the HC had in a different case said that consent obtained for sex on the pretext of marriage is “not free consent” and police are justified in registering a case of rape. The court reiterated this on Thursday while hearing a petition filed by Bhopal resident Rajeev Sharma seeking quashing of rape charges filed against him by his former fiancé. Sharma had developed friendship with a dance teacher on Facebook and proposed marriage to her, which she accepted. The marriage was fixed though Sharma’s mother was opposed to it, say police. Her complaint says that he got her into a physical relationship by saying that she should not have any problem since they were going to marry. He went back on his promise, prompting her to lodge an FIR at Ashoka Garden police station on March 19, 2017, accusing him of rape.
Judge Sushil Kumar Palo, while convinced that Sharma had promised marriage to the girl to get her consent for sexual relation, quoted a Supreme Court order to say: “A woman’s body is not a man’s play thing and he cannot take advantage of it in order to satisfy his lust and desires by fooling a woman into consenting to sexual intercourse simply because he wants to indulge in it. The accused in this case has committed the vile act and deserves to be suitably punished.
The Judge further stated that on the analysis of factual and legal aspects, this court is of the opinion that the petitioner invaded the woman’s person of indulging in sexual intercourse in order to appease his lust, all the time knowing that he would not marry her. Thus, he committed an act of fraud, leading her to believe that he would marry her.” He said police can go ahead with the rape case.