Drunk woman’s con­sent for sex is not valid, says Bom­bay HC

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - Aye­sha Arvind

MUM­BAI: The Bom­bay high court held that “a woman, when in­tox­i­cated is in­ca­pable of giv­ing a free and con­scious con­sent to a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship.” The court has held that in such a cir­cum­stance, even if the woman con­sents to a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship, it will not be con­sid­ered valid or as an “ex­cuse for com­mit­ting rape.”

The court said in the case of rape, when a woman says “No” to sex­ual in­ter­course even once, it must sig­nify she is un­will­ing. Sim­i­larly, when she says “yes, this yes must be free and un­am­bigu­ous” for the in­ci­dent to not amount as rape.

“Not every ‘Yes’ is cov­ered as valid con­sent de­fined un­der sec­tion 375 of the In­dian Pe­nal Code (IPC). The term ‘with­out a woman’s con­sent’ has a wider mean­ing and cov­ers a broader area of her wish to have sex­ual in­ter­course,” said jus­tice Mridula Bhatkar, adding that “si­lence, or un­cer­tainty” in it­self, can­not demon­strate con­sent.

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