Rape accused denied bail after Bombay HC rules consent under influence of liquor is no consent

Written by Ruhi Bhasin | Mumbai | Published:February 18, 2017 4:38 am

Source: The Indian Express

The court held that even if it is assumed that the woman had drunk four cocktails of long island iced tea, as per the statement of a waiter, the woman was not in a position to walk.

“IN A case of rape, when a woman says ‘no’ for sexual intercourse, it means she is not willing. Similarly, when she says ‘yes’, it should be a free and conscious ‘yes’… Intoxication cannot be an excuse. If a girl is intoxicated, it means mentally she is not capable of giving free and conscious consent,” said the Bombay High Court on Friday. “Not every ‘yes’ is covered under valid consent. Under the definition of rape, the words used are ‘against her will’ and ‘without her consent’. The term ‘without her consent’ has a wider meaning and covers a broader area of her wish to have sexual intercourse. If a woman is under influence of liquor or any drug, then even though she gives consent, it is not a consent.’’

Justice Mridula Bhatkar made these observations while refusing bail to a man, who had allegedly raped a woman in Pune along with two others in February last year. The woman’s company had organised an annual gathering for the employees when she had some refreshments ahead of it. The woman stated that she did not have alcoholic beverages, but started feeling dizzy. The next day she could recall what happened to her when she regained consciousness. She noticed she was undressed and her kurta was torn. She had severe pain in her abdomen and in private parts. She realised that she was sexually assaulted.

The court held that even if it is assumed that the woman had drunk four cocktails of long island iced tea, as per the statement of a waiter, the woman was not in a position to walk. This prima facie evidence goes against the accused. “At this stage, a simple question poses in the mind, why did the boy not take her to her house when she could not walk and did not have orientation instead of taking her to the flat of his friend,” said Justice Bhatkar. She granted two others bail in the matter, stating that there was not enough evidence against them.