No woman, after being sexually assaulted at knife-point, would write amorous love letters to the accused and share a live-in relationship for four years, the Supreme Court said on Monday while acquitting a man of 20-year-old charges of rape and cheating, for which he was convicted by the trial court and the Jharkhand High Court.
The first point of doubt for the bench of Justices R F Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee was the woman’s version of her age at the time of the alleged sexual assault in 1995.
Though she claimed to be 13 years, it was found that at the time of lodging the FIR in 1999, a few days before the man was getting married to another woman, she was 25 years as per medical opinion.
The complainant claimed that she kept quiet for four years from the date of sexual assault as the man promised to marry her and their families had got them engaged. She also said they lived like “husband and wife” and that on coming to know that he was getting married to another woman, she had filed the FIR accusing him of rape and cheating.
The bench said, “She was conscious of this (religious) obstacle all along, even while she continued to establish physical relations with the man. If he had married her, she would not have lodged the case. She denied having written any letters to him, contrary to the evidence placed on record by the defence. The amorous language used by both in the letters exchanged reflects that the man was serious about the relationship.”
“It is not possible to hold, on the basis of evidence available, that the man right from the inception did not intend to marry her ever and had fraudulently misrepresented only in order to establish physical relations with her.” The woman in her letters acknowledged that the man’s family was always very nice to her.” The court acquitted the man of all charges.