IIT-Kanpur student alleges rape by IAF officer after promising marriage
An IIT-Kanpur student has alleged repeated rape by an Indian Air Force officer, whom she befriended on Facebook about a year back. A few months after knowing each other, the officer, identified as Sitanshu, reportedly proposed marriage. Afterwards, he started visiting her at the IIT-Kanpur hostel and raped her repeatedly. The victim's FIR also names his friend, sister and brother-in-law, PTI says.
Case lodged against accused for rape, criminal intimidation and others
A case has been lodged against Sitanshu under IPC Sections 376 (rape), 354B (criminal force with intent to disrobe women), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 504 (intentional insult), and 506 (criminal intimidation). A probe is ongoing, but no arrests have been made yet. The girl will record her statement before a magistrate under CrPC Section 164. Sitanshu is a resident of Saran in Bihar.
Is consensual sex with broken promise of marriage legally 'rape'?
According to Section 375(4), it's rape if sex happens "with (the woman's) consent, when the man knows he isn't her husband" but she believes she's lawfully married to him. However, advocate RHA Sikander says if there was consent, it would only be cheating. The SC has ruled sex cannot be termed rape if there's no marriage, especially if the 'victim' is an educated adult.
But women in India frequently are shamed for failed relationships
However, lawyer-activist Flavia Agnes puts the focus on Indian society, where women, particularly those from lower castes and classes, often have to bear the brunt of a failed relationship. Promise of marriage is the reason for many women to enter a relationship, especially in smaller towns, Agnes argues. "What does she do if the man leaves her after she gets pregnant," she asks.