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Rapes in India: Cops at wits end over ‘technical’ problem

Jul 02 2014, 15:05 IST
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SummaryBattling a surge in rape complaints, police officers point to what they call ‘technical rapes’

seeing him punished. In half the cases, the complainant and the accused end up marrying each other, while in others, the intercourse has been so obviously consensual that the rape charge does not stand,” he says.

The grey areas

On February 18 this year, a 21-year-old woman first lodged a complaint alleging rape and got her boyfriend arrested, However, she later pleaded for his bail and finally approached the Bombay High Court asking that the FIR against him be quashed. She said in her application that she had filed the complaint against him due to a “misunderstanding” and that she had married him later.

A division bench of Justice Naresh H Patil and Justice Anuja Prabhudesai has now directed the Khar police to file the reply of the “accused”. “The officer should record further statement of the complainant and verify the statement of the petitioner that they got married. The police shall also verify authenticity of the marriage certificate and take a final decision in respect of the FIR,” the order said. The final hearing is on May 5.

The woman had initially filed a complaint with the Khar police alleging that the accused had promised to marry her and raped her three days earlier. Her advocate Dharini Nagda later said she lodged the FIR only to pressure him to marry her and didn’t want him arrested.

The woman subsequently pleaded before the metropolitan magistrate’s court in Bandra to grant him bail as he had promised to marry her. But since it was a non-bailable offence, the lawyers of the accused sought bail for him in the sessions Court. On February 22, the accused got bail after the girl filed an affidavit saying he was ready to marry her. After they got married in a temple, the accused filed a plea in the HC seeking to quash the FIR. The woman, too, filed a similar affidavit at the same time. The case is currently pending in the High Court.

In another case in July last year, a 39-year-old man acquitted of rape after spending three years in prison when the Bombay High Court ruled in his favour. The man, Manesh Kotiyan, had in 2010 proposed marriage and the woman had accepted. However, Kotiyan failed to disclose to her that he was already married and even had children. The HC upheld his conviction for cheating. In November 2009, the complainant met the accused while they both worked

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