Accused Of Rape At The Age Of 16 For Consensual Sex, 46-Yr-Old Man Finally Absolved Of Charges
A 46-year-old man has been acquitted in a 30-year-old rape case. A session court in Mumbai held that he, as a 16-year-old had consensual sex with the then 17-year-old girl. The court stated that in 1988 when the incident happened, consensual sex with a girl over the age of 16 was not defined as rape under IPC Section 376 (rape). But now as per section 375 of Indian Penal Code which was amended in 2013 age of consent is 18.
As reported by The Times of India, both the parents of the girl were working. However, on January 23, 1988, after the father of the girl got home, he saw nobody at home after which he started looking for his daughter. Reportedly, he later got to know that the accused, who was their neighbour at that time, might have allured his daughter. The father then lodged a complaint against him. Reportedly, the father told the police that while on a lookout for his daughter, he found her at the teenager’s house. The teenager was then booked on the charges of rape and kidnapping with an intention to compel a woman to marry or have sexual relationships.
However, contradicting the father’s account, the girl told that she went to his house on January 23, 1988, on her own will. She even followed him to his native in Gujarat where they both had consensual sex. It was on the basis of this statement that the session court held that the couple, in fact, had consensual intercourse.
The man moved to Gujarat and had to come to Mumbai regularly to attend the proceedings. The court, while absolving the charges against him, said, “By no stretch of imagination can it be said that the accused who was aged 16 years enticed the girl of age 17 years from the legal custody of her parents and committed rape on her. No purpose would be served in committing the case before the juvenile board on the ground of age of the accused.”
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