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‘Girl’s reluctance to physical intimacy must be taken as no’

Delhi high court

New Delhi: When a girl does not give her consent for physical intimacy, it must be “necessarily” treated as her “no”, a Delhi court has said while awarding 10 years rigorous imprisonment to a man for repeatedly raping a woman on the pretext of marriage.

The court also said that a woman’s consent for physical relations cannot be “presumed” merely on the ground that she was having a love affair with the man.

“To my mind, a girl when she does not give her willingness or consent for sexual relations, it must necessarily be treated as her ‘no’ and it cannot be said that since she was having a love affair with the accused, she must have also necessarily consented for entering into sexual relations with him.

“In other words, her consent for physical intimacy cannot be presumed merely because she was having a love affair with the accused,” Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja said.

The court held Rajiv Mourya, a resident of Paharganj in Central Delhi, guilty of the offences of inducing the woman to compel her for marriage, repeatedly raping her and criminally intimidating her under the IPC.

According to prosecution, the 26-year-old woman lodged a complaint at Paharganj Police Station alleging that she and Mourya were living in neighbourhood and they became friends from November, 2013 and he made a marriage proposal to her, saying he would discuss it with their families.

The man had asked the woman not to discuss it with anyone and they continued to remain in touch and went for outings.

On April 6, 2014, the man took her to hotel in Paharganj on the pretext of a friend’s birthday party and forcibly established physical relations with her twice, police said.

When she objected, Mourya said he will marry her and whenever she asked him about marriage, he repeatedly gave her the assurance of doing so soon.

Later on, the man refused to marry her and asked her to commit suicide and end the matter and also threatened to defame her society, prosecution said adding that the victim narrated the facts to her mother and lodged a complaint.

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