The Delhi high court on Monday held that sex without marriage amounted to rape.
The court rejected pre-arrest bail to a man who repeatedly had sex with a woman but refused to marry her even after their engagement.
The woman stayed with her fiance, Nikhil Prasar, in Mumbai for a few days, “where they had fun, and then went to Delhi and stayed in a hotel where they had sex”.
When it came to fixing a date for marriage, however, Nikhil refused, on the grounds that he had learned that she belonged to a different caste.
The woman complained to the police and a rape case was registered.
Justice VK Jain said the caste factor was an afterthought by Prasar, who then absconded. Could he marry “any girl merely because she belonged to a particular caste or sub-caste, even if he did not approve of her personality, temperament, education, culture, upbringing, and family background", the court asked.
“The answer can, obviously, be in the negative," justice Jain said.
He said it appears that the man did not intend to marry the woman and that was why he did not wait for sex even till his formal engagement with her.
If he were so orthodox and conservative that he broke the marriage owing to caste differences, he should not have hurried in for sexual intercourse before marriage, the justice said.
The court held that if it was not held as rape, it would “result in unscrupulous and mischievous persons taking undue advantage of innocent girls by promising marriage with them".
Sexual intercourse before marriage amounts to rape or it will result in victimisation or exploitation of innocent girls, justice Jain said.