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Victim's failure to resist sexual assault the first time amounts to pre-consent, says judge

The woman aged 19 lodged a sexual assault complaint and the man was sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment in 2016. However, Justice Pongiappan set aside the conviction recently.

Published: 28th August 2021 01:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th August 2021 01:56 PM   |  A+A-

Court Hammer, judgement, order, Gavel

Representational image. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

MADURAI: Observing that when a victim fails to resist the first time an accused commits sexual assault, it amounts to pre-consent, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court allowed an appeal filed by a man convicted in a 2009 rape case in Madurai.

Justice R Pongiappan, who passed the order, noted that the accused and the victim, aged 21 and 19 respectively, belonged to the same village and were reportedly in love for nearly a year. The victim’s allegation is that the man promised to marry her and sexually assaulted her. But when she became pregnant, he refused to marry her. Following this, she lodged a sexual assault complaint and the man was sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment in 2016.

However, Justice Pongiappan set aside the conviction recently. He pointed out that the victim and the accused were in love and had continued a physical relationship allegedly because the accused promised to marry her. Moreover, the girl had lodged the complaint only after a lapse of two-and-a-half months from the date of the alleged incident, the judge further pointed out. Hence the victim had willingly cohabited with the accused and lodged the complaint only because the latter disowned his promise to marry her, the judge concluded.

“Therefore, the victim’s non-raising of resistance, during the first time the accused committed sexual assault, amounts to pre-consent. The consent given by the girl cannot be held as a misconception of fact,” Justice Pongiappan held. He also raised certain doubts with respect to the complaint copy and the doctor’s report and decided to set aside the conviction.



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