Better Safe than Sorry?

With our sexual mores changing significantly in the past few years, sex outside marriage has gained certain social acceptance. Incidents of live-in relationships, pre-marital sex and adultery appear commonplace now. Behaviour once considered socially undesirable, even deviant, is increasingly being thought of as ‘cool’. But beware, the Delhi High court does not approve and if their recent ruling is any thing to go by, promiscuous men may even land in jail. They just have to fall foul of their girl friends! Here’s how.

It has been reported, that, the court has ruled recently that sex outside marriage amounted to rape. It denied anticipatory bail to a man for this reason. The bare facts of the case were, that, a man engaged to a woman had repeated consensual sexual intercourse with her. When he refused to marry her, she filed a police case alleging rape. The court held, that, sex on the basis of a false promise of marriage amounted to rape. Normally, the Indian law defines rape as sexual intercourse when it is:- 

i)          Against the will of the woman;

ii)         Without her consent;

iii)         With her consent, if she has been put under fear of death or hurt;

iv)        With her consent when the man knows that he is not her husband but she believes he is;

v)         With her consent, if it is obtained under unsoundness of her mind or intoxication etc; and

vi)        With her consent if she is less than sixteen years of age.  

Even consensual sex, therefore, is rape under the last four conditions. Now, the court has added another category-when consent is obtained on a false promise of marriage-when it will be considered as an incident of rape. The new expanded meaning has been taken, ostensibly, for protecting innocent girls from victimization and exploitation by unscrupulous and mischievous persons who take undue advantage by promising marriage with them. 

Normally, the accused in a rape case is required to prove his innocence, as the victim’s statement is taken to be true. This is so as it is generally believed, that, no Indian woman would level false charges for fear of social ridicule. In the present case, since the two were engaged, it was not difficult to draw an inference, that, she might have consented because they were in any case to be married. But it may be difficult in other cases to prove whether a false promise was held out or not. If a woman, therefore, alleges rape on this ground, the boy friend may land in serious trouble.

So if you would rather be safe and not sorry-ABSTAIN.

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8 Responses to “Better Safe than Sorry?”

  1. Or have a pre-sex agreement in place lol 😀

  2. A decision can always be overruled.. However, adultary, premarital sex has always being there in our society but it is now only that they have come out in open….And please don’t make this assumption that guys are only culprit…woman too seduces then files case of rape…

  3. Thanks Lakshmi Rajan and Tarun for your comments. What you say is correct. They are more out in the open now. It is a matter of changing values. What was considered inappropriate earlier may find wider social acceptance in the future.

  4. Not slighting the issue at hand..I did find the situation rather funny…now the above ruling would give the so called ‘protectors of India culture’ additional arms against western trends..and take the ruling all way to protest gals n guyz walking togther..or having coffee togather or maybe studying in the same class (sad!)…what next?.. gals not to go out of house without a male gaurdian!….where are we heading now?

    • That’s a good question. Where are we heading now? There’s more of such policing of views now in every field-movies, literature, paintings, music! You can’t make a movie, write a book or even voice your opinion without thinking of who it may offend!

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  5. Some day men will start carrying documents to obtain signatures of women saying they have willfully consented but then women will accuse them of threatening to sign it… and new law will come into force … Interesting thoughts.

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