New Delhi, July 1: "Obtaining consent by exercising deceit cannot be legitimate defence to exculpate an accused", the Supreme Court today said while upholding the conviction of a man, who repeatedly had sexual intercourse with a girl on the false promise of marriage.
The apex court concurred with the findings of the Madras High Court and the trial court which had convicted the man by holding him guilty of raping the girl who was a major.
The court noted that the accused at each time before having sexual intercourse "swore" that he would marry her but he later refused to tie the knot with her.
"We confirm the concurrent determination of the courts below, that accused-appellant Karthick committed deceit with the prosecutrix by promising to marry her. On the strength of the said deception, in the first instance persuaded her not to disclose the occurrence to anyone, and thereafter, repeatedly had sexual intercourse with her. Therefore, in the facts and circumstances of this case, it is not possible for us to accept the contention advanced on behalf of accused-appellant Karthick, that sexual intercourse by him with the prosecutrix was consensual. Obtaining consent by exercising deceit, cannot be legitimate defence to exculpate an accused," a bench of Justices P Sathasivam and Jagdish Singh Khehar said.
The accused had approached the apex court challenging the order of the high court, which had dismissed his plea against the trial court's order holding him guilty of rape.
According to the prosecution, the accused, a resident of Achampatti in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu, was a neighbour of the victim who had complained that he used to tease her and also used to ask her to marry him.
The victim had said that one day when she was alone, he entered her house and forced her for physical relationship after which he promised that he would marry her. Believing the promise, she did not reveal about the incident to anyone and they indulged in consensual physical relationship as Karthick had promised that he would marry her.
In October 2003, when the woman requested him to marry her, he refused after which she informed her family members, who tried to sort out the matter through the village elders following which a panchayat was held.
The panchayat tried to amicably solve the issue but the accused refused to marry her after which the villagers advised the girl to make a complaint to the police.