Only sexual intercourse 'welcomed' by woman can be accepted as consensual: Kerala high court

ANI Kochi Jul 07, 2020, 06.20 AM(IST)

The Kerala High Court. Photograph:( ANI )

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"It is settled law that mere act of helpless resignation cannot be deemed to be consent for rape, the court said citing 1958 and 2003 decisions of the Supreme Court (in Rao Harnarain Singh Sheoji Singh Vs. State and Uday Vs State of Karnataka)," Justice Kumar said.

The Kerala High Court has held that only sexual intercourse "welcomed" by the woman can be accepted as consensual.

"In social reality, sex that is actually desired by a woman is never termed consensual, for when a sexual interaction is equal, consent is not needed and when it is unequal, the consent cannot make it equal," Justice PB Suresh Kumar said while the high court was hearing an appeal filed by a 59-year-old man who was accused of raping a 14-year-old neighbour girl several times at his house and impregnating her.

"It is settled law that mere act of helpless resignation cannot be deemed to be consent for rape, the court said citing 1958 and 2003 decisions of the Supreme Court (in Rao Harnarain Singh Sheoji Singh Vs. State and Uday Vs State of Karnataka)," Justice Kumar said.

The incidents took place in 2009 and the POCSO Act had not come into being. The high court upheld his conviction and dismissed the appeal.

At the high court, the accused had contended that the relationship was consensual as the girl had come to his house several times after the first encounter and had sex with him.

The girl had deposed that she did so out of fear that her mother and sister would be harmed.