MADURAI: Observing that the character, reputation or status of a rape victim is an irrelevant factor for consideration by the court while awarding the sentence to a rapist, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court upheld the conviction of an armyman who raped a young nurse on the false promise of marrying her.
The accused, G Balamurugan, had entered into a relationship with his sister’s friend. He took her to Tiruchendur with her parent’s knowledge and raped her in February 2009. He later refused to marry her as the girl’s family was unable to give `5 lakh dowry.
On a complaint from the girl, the Kovilpatti police arrested Balamurugan. Subsequently, the Thoothukudi Fast Track Court - I awarded him seven years RI and directed him to pay a compensation of `50,000 to the girl. Balamuruguan moved the High Court challenging his conviction. His counsel argued that the complainant had consented to a physical relationship with the accused. Hence there was no question of treating this case as rape. Government Advocate S Prabha said that the character of the victim girl is immaterial. Merely because her mother had permitted the girl to accompany a known trusted male, it cannot be treated as a license for sexual relationship.
Justice R Mala said that it is clear that the victim believed the words of the accused, since he belonged to the same community and there would be no problem for their marriage. Hence she had given consent for sex on the basis of misconception. “Therefore, I am of the view that believing the words of the appellant, who is an armyman, the girl herself has given consent and thereafter, the appellant refused to marry her, which amounts to rape,” the judge held.