"Rape is just not forcible intercourse, it means to inhabit and destroy everything": Bombay HC
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"Rape is just not forcible intercourse, it means to inhabit and destroy everything": Bombay HC

Taking account of his age and the fiduciary relationship between the girl and the accused, the Court rejected his submission that his relationship with the minor girl was consensual.

Lydia Suzanne Thomas

The Bombay High Court has rejected the bail application moved by a man who has been accused of multiple sexual assaults on a minor. The minor is the daughter of a business associate of the accused.

Taking account of the man's age, his relationship to the girl's family, and the fact that he was a married man with two children, the Bench of Justice Bharati Dangre rejected his submission that the relationship between was consensual.

In doing so, she observed:

"The applicant has taken advantage of the fiduciary relationship, which he shared with the victim girl and put her in a vulnerable situation. Assuming but not accepting that the victim girl consented for maintaining the physical relationship, her consent is not a free consent."
"'Rape' is just not a forcible intercourse, it means to inhabit and destroy everything."
Bombay High Court

Additionally, the consent of the survivor, even if it was consensual, was not valid since Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code does not recognise the consent of a minor.

The girl has accused the man of sending her WhatsApp messages professing his 'liking for her' and seeking sexual favours. He has also allegedly described the strained relations he had with his wife and blamed her for their deteriorating marriage in his messages to the girl. Afraid of the consequences of speaking up on her father's relationship, the girl did not report the messages, it is stated.

On the pretext of discussing an important business matter with the girl, the man allegedly sexually assaulted the girl and threatened to damage her father's business prospects if she reported the matter, the complaint alleges. He also reportedly told the girl that he would kill himself if she did not submit to sexual intercourse.

After more such episodes, the girl reported the assaults to her parents who filed the complaint.

The man claimed that the relationship between them was consensual. It was also argued that if his initial messages to her were not acceptable, she would have 'blocked' him on WhatsApp and reported the matter earlier. He did not dispute her minority, however, but claimed that she was mature enough to understand the consequences of her actions.

Justice Dangre rejected these submissions, stating that the girl had feared the consequences of reporting on her father's business partnership.

Read the Order here:

Amit Raoso Patil v. State of Maharashtra - Order dated September 10, 2020.pdf
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