The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court quashed a First Information Report(FIR) against a man observing that it was difficult to accept that a widow with two children could be raped many times in a thickly populated locality.
A division bench of justices Vibha Kankanwadi and Abhay Waghwase quashed the FIR against a Parbhani-resident observing, “In fact, there was long-standing acquaintance between the applicant and accused. It is difficult to accept that a widow with two children residing in a thickly populated residential locality couldbe rapednot oncebut on several occasions.”
The HC was hearing a petition filed by the man seeking the quashing of the FIR filed against him at the Nava Mondha police station in Parbhani for allegedly raping a widow on multiple occasions.
Man first raped her on knifepoint in 2017: Prosecution
According to the prosecution, one night in 2017, the man entered the woman’s house in the presence of her children on the pretext of drinking water. He then brandished a knife threatening to kill her and raped her. He allegedly threatened to kill her children if she raised an alarm. The man repeatedly used to threaten her and have forcible physical relations with her.
In 2018, he demanded money from the woman. When she said she had no money, he allegedly forcibly took her jewellery and mortgaged it. Fed up with his conduct, she approached the police and registered an FIR.
Defence says the two were acquainted
The man’s advocate argued that the woman resides in a thickly populated area and knew the applicant for a long back. The allegations are “vague and omnibus” and there is no detail about when the alleged first incident took place. He also submitted that rape on knifepoint on a fully grown lady in her own house is not possible.
The court noted, “Her supplementary statement shows that she had even entrusted her ATM card for operation. Therefore, there is room to presume that there is a longstanding association between the accused applicant and informant.”
Also, the jeweller, with whom the ornaments were mortgaged, gave a statement that the woman had visited his shop on two occasions along with the man for mortgaging ornaments.
The bench further said that the allegations of rape levelled against the applicant does not inspire confidence. “In our considered opinion, whatever sexual encounters took place between informant and applicant apparently seem to be consensual one... Therefore, making the present applicant face trial with such allegations would render him not only hardship but great injustice,” it said while quashing the FIR.
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