HomeSatish Kumar Jayanti Lal Dabgar v. State of Gujarat (2015) 7 SCC 359

 

Facts

The appellant and the victim were in a relationship and were in love. One day, when the wife of the complainant couldn’t find her daughter who was below the age of sixteen, the complainant inquired and got to know that the appellant and his daughter had gone towards the market. The complainant rushed to the market and could not find them anywhere after which he filed a complaint. After two days, the appellant was found and he told them about their relationship and how they had even got married. The appellant said that the physical relations that he had with the girl, and the marriage both were consensual and done out of love for each other. And thus, his sentence should be reduced.

Issue

Whether consensual sexual intercourse with a girl below the age of sixteen can be considered rape?

Whether sentence for rape can be reduced if the sexual intercourse was against the law, but still, was consensual?

Rule

Section 375 IPC, Section 376 IPC.

Analysis

The Court observed that in the eyes of the law, the capability of giving consent is absent in case of a minor. Even if minor consent to something, the minor does not understand what is the consent for. The Court points out that the minor does not possess the maturity to think about what is right and what is wrong and make an informed decision. Thus, even if the acts between the appellant and the victim was entirely consensual, it will still eb rape as the consent given was an uninformed and immature consent in the eyes of the law. However, the Court also takes into account that the punishment given should be proportionate to the crime.

Conclusion

Keeping in mind that the punishment should be adequate and not in excess, the Court sentenced the appellant to two years rigorous imprisonment and fine.

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