Men can’t Justify Rape on the Ground that Prosecutrix was of Loose Character


July 23, 2018

Case name: Ramkrishna Ganesh Wagh v. State of Maharashtra

In the instant case, the Appellant has challenged Trial Court’s order which convicted the Appellant under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (punishment for the offence of rape). Material available on record evidenced that the victim was less than 16 yrs. Of age on the date of incident. Further, the Appellant through examination of witness tried to cast aspersions on the victim’s character. As the appellant examined one defence witness in order to demonstrate the prosecutrix was having illicit relations with her husband.

The High Court of Bombay in view of the facts and circumstances in the case and material available on record dismissed the appeal and upheld the Appellant’s conviction on the following grounds:

  • That even if the prosecutrix was assumed to be of loose character, it could not be said that the appellant had the right to rape her or to have sexual intercourse with her.
  • That as per Clause Sixthly of Section 375 of the IPC, the consent of prosecutrix for sexual intercourse with the appellant was immaterial.

The Clause states that a man commits rape when he has sexual intercourse with a woman below sixteen years of age either with or without her consent.

  • In view of the aforesaid, the High Court opined that even if it is presumed for the sake of argument that the medical evidence did not show that there had been forcible sexual intercourse indicating that there might have been consent on the part of the prosecutirx, since she was less than 16 years of age, her consent was immaterial.
  • Thus, the proof of the factum of sexual intercourse in the case was enough to prove that appellant was guilty of rape as defined in clause ‘Sixthly’ of Section 375 of the IPC.

The entire case can be accessed here.