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MUMBAI – The Bombay High Court has ruled that a promise to marry cannot be considered an inducement in every rape case.

Granting pre-arrest bail to a 21-year-old youth after his former girlfriend lodged a case of rape following their break-up, Justice Mridula Bhatkar held that an educated girl who has consented to have pre-marital sex should take responsibility for her decision, the Times of India reported.

“In the event of consent obtained by fraud, inducement is a necessary ingredient. There should be some material on record to believe prima facie that the girl was induced to such an extent that she was ready to have sexual intercourse. Promise to marry cannot be said to be an inducement in these types of cases,” said Justice Bhatkar in her ruling.

“Since generations, there is a moral taboo that it is the responsibility of a woman to be a virgin at the time of marriage. However, today, the young generation is exposed to different interactions with each other and is well-informed about sexual activities. Society is trying to be liberated but carries the baggage of different notions of morality wherein sex before marriage is a matter of censure. Under such circumstances, a woman who is in love with a boy forgets that she has only exercised her option, and refuses to take responsibility for her decision,” the judge remarked.

The court pointed to the rising trend of criminal prosecutions for rape initiated after the end of relationships and said that the court needs to take an objective view and balance the life and liberty of the accused with the sufferings of the girl.

In simple words, the court rulings means when a woman is an adult and educated, she is supposed to know the consequences of a pre-marital sexual relationship.