A man accused of raping a widow after a false promise of marriage has been acquitted by a Delhi court which said the physical relations between them were consensual.
While acquitting the man, Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat said, "the prosecution has failed to establish that the woman was not aware about the marital status of the accused and that he had taken her consent to the sexual intercourse on the false pretext of marriage." "It seems that the sexual relations between the woman and the accused were consensual and her consent to the same was not tainted by misconception but was free and voluntary," the court said.
The court's judgement came in a case in which Mahinder Singh, a mechanic, was accused of raping a 27-year-old widow who has two children.
According to the prosecution, the woman, a resident of Delhi, met the man when he had come to her house to repair her cooler. Wwhenever there was any problem in any machinery, she used to call him to her house for the repair work.
During his visits, Singh started telling her that he loved her and wanted to marry her. In February, 2011, he came to her house and applied vermilion on her forehead declaring that she was now his wife and had sexual relations with her, it further said.
The prosecution said that the woman did not object to the man's acts as he had assured that he would marry her but later on when a neighbour told her that Mahinder was already married, she reported the matter to the police.
The man was arrested by the officials of Dabri Police Station here.
The court, however, acquitted the man saying, "It cannot be said that mere act of the accused applying vermilion on her (woman) forehead would instill any belief in her that she has become the wife of the accused. She knew the essential rites and ceremonies of Hindu marriage."
"The prosecution has failed to prove the charges against the accused. He is liable to be acquitted and is hereby acquitted as such," the court said.