Essence of rape is absence of consent: Court

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New Delhi, Feb 5: A court here held that the "essence of rape is absence of consent" as it acquitted a man facing charges of sexual assault, kidnapping and compelling a woman for marriage.

Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain acquitted Manoj of charges of kidnapping a woman to compel her to marriage and rape after observing the victim's testimony in which she stated that she has married the accused of her own will.

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"The essence of rape is absence of consent" the court said, defining consent as "an intelligent, positive concurrence of the woman".

It added that a woman is said to consent, only when she freely agrees to submit herself, while in free and unconstrained possession of her physical or moral power to act in a manner she wanted.

"Submissions under the influence of fear or terror or false promise is not consent," the court said in its judgment Wednesday.

According to prosecution, a complaint was filed by the victim alleging rape and kidnapping charges against the accused in south Delhi's Kalkaji police station.

In the complaint, the victim said the accused had studied with her in same school and sought her friendship, which she refused. Later, she changed the school.

During her college days, the accused proposed her for marriage. When she refused, he became violent and threatened her.

One day, he kidnapped her and took her to Jaipur where he raped her, police said.

However, during the trial, the victim told the court that she married the accused of her own will and they had lived as husband and wife for about one and half years.

The complaint was due to a misunderstanding, she told court, and also produced a marriage certificate dated April 26, 2011.

Considering the testimony of victim, the court observed that neither was she kidnapped and compelled to marry the accused and nor was forced for illicit intercourse.

IANS

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