MUMBAI (TIP): A love affair gone bad is no reason to charge a man who got a woman pregnant with rape, the Bombay high court has ruled. Justice Sadhna Jadhav acquitted Borivali resident Manesh Kotiyan (39) of rape charges three years after his arrest and subsequent conviction.
“The very fact that the prosecution has admitted in the cross-examination that she had a love affair with the accused and she desired to marry him. In these circumstances, offence underSection 376 of the IPC (rape) would necessarily fail,” said Justice Jadhav ruling that the rape charges against Kotiyan were “unsustainable”. The court went through the prosecution case and noted that the accused had proposed to the girl.
“The complainant is an educated adult person,” said the judge. “She was fully aware of the fact that he (Kotiyan) was attracted to her. She chose to accompany him to Gorai. She also checked into a hotel to celebrate his birthday. She was aware of the consequences,” said the judge. “She had not cried for help and had not taken her resistance to a logical end. Hence, it would not be justifiable to hold that the consent was obtained by intimidation, force meditated imposition, circumvention surprise or undue influence,” said the judge.
The court, however, upheld Kotiyan’s conviction on charges of cheating as he had failed to disclose to the victim that he was married and had children. Since he has served around three years in prison, the court ordered his release. “There is no evidence that the accused coerced her and raped her,” said advocate Arfan Sait, who was appointed by the high court legal aid cell to defend Kotiyan.
“He had always intended to marry her and had told her he would do so once the divorce proceedings ended.” The case dates back to March 2010, when the girl who was four months pregnant lodged a case of rape against Kotiyan. The two had met when they were working at a stationery shop in Borivli.
In November 2009, they had gone to Gorai to celebrate Kotiyan’s birthday, where according to the prosecution he forced her into having sexual intercourse. A sessions court in 2012 held Kotiyan guilty of rape and sentenced him to seven years rigorous imprisonment. Kotiyan filed an appeal in the HC. “It is clear from her deposition that she had lodged the FIR in a fit of rage,” the HC said.