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Indian court says pre-marital sex immoral

A Delhi court has ruled that pre-marital sex was "immoral" and against the "tenets of every religion".

Last updated: 06 Jan 2014 06:59
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There has been a number of protests in India against the rise in sexual violence against women [AFP]

A Delhi court judge has said that pre-marital sex was "immoral" in his acquittal of a man charged of rape.

In his ruling, Delhi Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat, added that a "grown-up, educated and office-going woman does so at her own peril" when she has pre-marital sex on the assurance of marriage with a man.

The accused, a 29-year-old man from the northern Indian state of Punjab working with a multinational firm, was arrested in December last year after the woman had lodged a complaint of rape in May 2011.

The judge said, "In my opinion, every act of sexual intercourse between two adults on the assurance of promise of marriage does not become rape, if the assurance or promise is not fulfilled later on by the boy."

"No religion in the world allows pre-marital sex," the judge said in his ruling.

Speedy justice

Judge Bhat was presiding over a fast-track court established in January 2013 for the speedy disposal of sexual offence cases against women in the wake of public protests and activists' demand to mete out justice for violence against women.

In her complaint the woman said she had met the man on a chat forum on the internet in July 2006 and that the man had promised to marry her and had physical relations with her often.

She alleged that the man had asked her to abort when she was pregnant with his child in 2008, saying he had family obligations to get his sisters married and would marry her later.

However, he did not do so and instead harassed and humiliated her and her family, she alleged.

The court, considering that the woman held a job with a reputed company and was residing alone in Bangalore, said she was, "intelligent enough to understand moral quality and consequences of her act”.

The judge ruled out the woman’s testimony which included explicit e-mails and chat exchanges of physically and mentally "provoking her to have sex".

"A promise to marry is totally different from the mental and physical provocation, as mentioned by the prosecution in her testimony."

"He may or may not do so," the judge ruled, adding that any sex outside of wedlock was immoral and irreligious while acquitting the man.

Last year another court in Delhi had said that live-in relationships "were immoral" and a cultural import from the West.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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