New Delhi: Ignorance of law cannot be a valid excuse for consent for physical relation with another person during the subsistence of marriage, a Delhi court has said.
"Ignorance of law cannot be said to be a valid excuse of the prosecutrix (woman) to have consented for physical relations with the accused, during the subsistence of her marriage merely on the assurance that he would marry her," Additional Session Judge Kaveri Baweja said.
The court`s observation came while acquitting a man of the charges of raping a married woman since 2012 on the false assurance of marriage. It said it appeared that the physical relations between the accused and woman were consensual.
The court rejected the submissions of the woman, a mother of two kids, that she was unaware of the fact that according to Hindu law, she cannot marry for the second time during the subsistence of her first marriage.
"The plea of the woman that she was not aware that as per Hindu Law, second marriage is not permissible during the subsistence of first marriage, cannot be said to be a ground to hold that the consent of her was not voluntary," it said.
"It is well settled law that the woman who is admittedly a Hindu, could not have remarried during the subsistence of her marriage with her husband.
"Thus, the claim of the woman that the accused was giving her assurance of marriage and that she consented for establishing physical relations with him on the said assurance by the accused, is also clearly not acceptable," the judge said, while deciding the case in two-and-a-half month.
The woman had lodged an FIR at Prasad Nagar Police Station here on May 4, alleging that she was raped and criminally intimidated by Delhi resident Vijay Kumar.
The woman said that she was married but was not living with her husband for the last 3-4 years.
She alleged that Kumar, on the false pretext of marriage, forcibly established physical relations with her and threatened to kill her, if she disclosed the incident to anyone.
In her complaint, the woman said that on April 29, when she was at her house, the man established physical relations with her and after quarreling with her, he left her house and did not come back.
He then stopped picking up her calls which promoted her to approached the police and make a complaint.
During the trial, Kumar denied the allegations levelled against him and told the court that he was falsely implicated in the case as the woman wanted to extort money from him.
While acquitting the man, the court said, "Considering the entire evidence on record, it thus appears that the physical relations between the accused and woman were clearly consensual.
"The woman, despite being married, entered into physical relationship with the accused, presumably knowing that she could not contract marriage with the accused as her marriage was still in subsistence."
The court also rejected the allegations made by the woman that the man used to threaten her to forcibly establish physical relations with her.
"It is also difficult to accept that despite the fact that the accused allegedly threatened the prosecutrix and forcibly established physical relations with her, she was still ready and willing to marry him," the court said.