The Supreme Court has said that a rape case cannot be quashed on the basis of a settlement arrived at between a man and woman if the victim maintained she never consented to physical relations and that she was forced to sign the pact under threat and coercion.
A bench of Justices U U Lalit, Indu Malhotra and R Subhash Reddy set aside the Gujarat High Court's order that had quashed a rape case lodged against the managing director of an Ahmedabad-based firm on a complaint lodged by her personal assistant.
The accused here contended allegations of rape were false and the FIR was an attempt at malicious prosecution. He said that it was only a case of consensual sex and they arrived at a written agreement in July, 2016. Having got huge money, the woman had filed a false complaint to harass him, he said.
The woman, for her part, said the accused exploited and blackmailed her for years after taking her inappropriate pictures. He even telephoned the man with whom her marriage was fixed to say that she was not a woman of good character.
After hearing the parties, the court said, in view of serious allegations, the High Court committed error in quashing the proceedings.
Referring to Section 114-A of the Indian Evidence Act, the court said in a case where sexual intercourse by the accused is proved and the question is whether it was without the consent of the woman, and such woman states that she did not consent, the court shall presume that she did not consent.
Writing the judgement, Justice Reddy said the HC got carried away by the settlement between the parties, and recorded that the physical relationship was consensual. “When it is the allegation
of the woman, that such document itself is obtained under threat and coercion, it is a matter to be
investigated,” he said.