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Allahabad High Court Acquits Man In Rape Case, Says: Male Partner Not Always At Fault

The Allahabad High Court noted that Chapter XVI on 'sexual offences' rightly prioritizes protecting the dignity and honor of women and girls. However, it stated that the male partner is not always solely responsible. In such cases, the burden of proof lies on both parties.

Edited By : simran rajpal | Updated: Jun 14, 2024 13:15 IST
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Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court gave clean chit to a man who was accused of raping a woman after promising to marry her. The court emphasized that while the laws on sexual offences rightly prioritize women, it also stressed that the male partner isn’t always at fault by default.

Justices Rahul Chaturvedi and Justice Nand Prabha Shukla, a division bench, also stated during the judgment that in such cases, the burden of proof rests on both the complainant and the accused.

The court observed that Chapter XVI, focusing on ‘sexual offences,’ prioritizes safeguarding the dignity and honor of women and girls, which is appropriate. However, when evaluating the situation, it’s not always the case that the male partner is solely responsible. The burden of proof lies on both parties in such cases.

The court was reviewing the complainant’s appeal challenging the accused’s acquittal in a rape case. The accused also faced charges under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

In 2019, the woman filed a police complaint in Prayagraj, alleging that the accused engaged in a sexual relationship with her after promising marriage but later reneged on his promise. She also accused him of making derogatory remarks about her caste.

After an investigation, the accused was formally charged in 2020.

What is the full matter that has been taken to the Allahabad HC?

On February 8, 2024, the trial court in Prayagraj acquitted the accused of rape but convicted him under Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Following this verdict, the complainant approached the high court.

In response, the accused informed the court that the relationship was consensual. He stated that he decided not to marry the woman upon learning that she did not belong to the ‘Yadav’ caste, as she had claimed.

The high court upheld the trial court’s decision to acquit the accused. It stated, “It is clear that a woman who is already married and has not legally ended her previous marriage, and concealed her caste, maintained a physical relationship for five years without any objection or hesitation.”

The court remarked, “Both of them have stayed at several hotels and lodges in Allahabad and Lucknow and spent time together. It’s challenging to determine who is deceiving whom.”

In this context, it was noted that the complainant failed to substantiate her claim about her caste.

Based on this, the court concluded that the trial court correctly acquitted the accused because the allegations of sexual harassment and rape made by the victim could not be substantiated.

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First published on: Jun 14, 2024 01:15 PM IST

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