Court finds marriage valid, acquits man accused of raping woman: Ravi Drall Advocate

Ravi Drall Acquittal Rape case. Criminal Lawyer in Rape

Court finds marriage valid, acquits man accused of raping woman

A Delhi Court has recently acquitted a man accused of raping a woman after finding the marriage valid, though it was without documents. The court noted that the prosecutrix had alleged that the accused had raped her.

Delhi Court recently acquitted a man accused of raping a woman after finding the marriage valid, albeit not supported by documents. The court noted that the prosecutrix had alleged that the accused had raped her. Additional Sessions Judge Jagmohan Singh acquitted the accused saying, “In the considered opinion of this Court, the prosecution has failed to prove any of the charges against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, accused Gaurav Malik is hereby acquitted of all the charged offences.”

 

“The mere statement of the prosecutrix, as noted above, that too made during her cross-examination, which is also very vague, in itself is not sufficient to bring home the charge under section 380 (Theft) IPC against the accused. The accused, therefore, also deserves to beacquitted of the charge u/s.380 IPC,” the court said in the order. The judge noted further in the order, “Prosecutrix herself has deposed that on 21.07.2014, her marriage was solemnised with the accused at Arya Samaj temple behind Tis Hazari Court and she also took seven rounds (saat phere) around the sacred fire in the presence of the priest.”

The court noted that the prosecutrix also filed on record photographs of the marriage ceremony. The court noted that taking seven rounds around the sacred fire is known as ‘Saptpadi’.

The court referred to Section 7 (2) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1956 which gives out the general provision for ‘Saptpadi ‘ wherein it stated that where rites and ceremonies include ‘Saptpadi’ as a ceremony, then the marriage shall be considered complete and valid upon the completion of seventh round around the holy fire. The judge observed, “Both the prosecutrix and the accused are admittedly Hindu by religion. As clear from the deposition of the prosecutrix herself, coupled with the photographs of the marriage ceremony filed by the prosecutrix herself, it is clear that they had undergone the ‘Saptpadi’ ceremony.”

It is not the case of the prosecutrix that the accused was already married when the above marriage ceremony took place between them on 21.07.2014, the court noted. The prosecutrix has also deposed that she had also taken divorce from her earlier husband before her marriage with t accused, it further noted.

“Thus, in the considered opinion of this Court as ‘both the prosecutrix and the accused belonged to Hindu religion and as they had performed ‘Saptpadil’ ceremony at the time of their marriage at Arya Samaj Temple on 21. 07. 2014, a legally valid marriage came into being between them as soon as the seventh round/step around the holy fire was completed,” ASJ Jagmohan Singh said. That being the case, the accused being the legally wedded husband of the prosecutrix was covered under ‘Exception 2’ to Section 375 IPC, as noted above. Hence, the accused deserves to be acquitted of the charge u/s.376 IPC, the judge said in the order.

The prosecutrix and Trustee of Arya Samaj temple were under the impression that unless a so-called marriage certificate was issued by the temple authorities, it was not alegally valid marriage, the judge said. Accused Gaurav Malik was represented by advocate Ravi Drall.

A case of rape and theft was registered at the police station in South Rohini in the year 2015. The prosecutrix filed a complaint on 27.01.2015 and stated that she came into contact with the accused who was running a mobile shop in Sector 2, Rohini, Delhi, in the month of November 2013, when she had given a mobile phone for repair.

Thereafter, the accused started approaching and talking to her. Initially, the accused used to talk to her about her mobile phone but later on, he proposed to her and represented to her that he was in love with her and wanted to marry her, she stated. At that time, the prosecutrix was morally down as she had just taken divorce from her husband and the accused knew that she needed moral support in that difficult time, she claimed.

The prosecutrix further stated that on 21.07.2014, they went to Arya Samaj Mandir, where the accused brought some documents and took her signatures on some papers and assured her that their marriage had been registered. Thereafter, they started residing at the house of the prosecutrix. When the prosecutrix askedthe accused to show her the marriage certificate, he told her that she did not trust him. Parents and brothers of the accused used to make calls to the prosecutrix and threatened her, she alleged.

The accused also told her that he also received calls from them that they would not spare him as they had performed marriage against their wishes, she claimed.

Section 376 in The Indian Penal Code
1[376. Punishment for rape.—

(1) Whoever, except in the cases provided for by sub-section (2), commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may be for life or for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine unless the women raped is his own wife and is not under twelve years of age, in which cases, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both: Provided that the court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than seven years.
(2) Whoever,—

(a) being a police officer commits rape—

(i) within the limits of the police station to which he is ap­pointed; or
(ii) in the premises of any station house whether or not situated in the police station to which he is appointed; or
(iii) on a woman in his custody or in the custody of a police officer subordinate to him; or
(b) being a public servant, takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in his custody as such public servant or in the custody of a public servant subordinate to him; or
(c) being on the management or on the staff of a jail, remand home or other place of custody established by or under any law for the time being in force or of a woman’s or children’s insti­tution takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on any inmate of such jail, remand home, place or institution; or
(d) being on the management or on the staff of a hospital, takes advantage of his official position and commits rape on a woman in that hospital; or
(e) commits rape on a woman knowing her to be pregnant; or
(f) commits rape on a woman when she is under twelve years of age; or
(g) commits gang rape, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may be for life and shall also be liable to fine: Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of either description for a term of less than ten years. Explanation 1.—Where a woman is raped by one or more in a group of persons acting in furtherance of their common intention, each of the persons shall be deemed to have committed gang rape within the meaning of this sub-section. Explanation 2.—“Women’s or children’s institution” means an institution, whether called an orphanage or a home for neglected woman or children or a widows’ home or by any other name, which is established and maintained for the reception and care of woman or children. Explanation 3.—“Hospital” means the precincts of the hospital and includes the precincts of any institution for the reception and treatment of persons during convalescence or of persons requiring medical attention or rehabilitation.]

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