The Bombay High Court has held that merely sharing a friendly relationship with a girl does not permit a boy to establish a physical relationship with her.

Justice Bharati Dangre while dismissing the application for anticipatory bail of the boy who was accused of the offences under Sections 376(2)(n), 376(2)(h), and 417 of the IPC, observed –

"Merely sharing friendly relationship with a girl do not permit a boy to take her for granted and construe it as her consent to establish physical relationship."

In this case, the complainant-girl aged 22 years was acquainted with the applicant. In 2019, when the complainant-girl visited the residential premises of a third friend, it was alleged that the applicant forcibly committed sexual intercourse with her. When the said act was opposed by the complainant, the applicant expressed his likeness towards her and expressed his willingness that he would marry her. On multiple occasions, the act was repeated.

Thereafter, the complainant conceived and contacted the applicant, however, he refused to take up any responsibility and attributed her bad character and alleged infidelity on her part.

The Court noted –

"In today's society when a man and woman are working together, it is quite possible that proximity may develop between them, being either mentally compatible or confding in each other as friends, ignoring the gender, since friendship is not gender based. However, this friendship with the person of fairer sex, does not confer a licence upon a man to force himself upon her, when she specifcally refuse copulation."

The Court also held that every woman expects 'Respect' in a relationship, be it in the nature of friendship based on mutual affection, in this context, the Bench opined –

"Here is the applicant, who is accused of maintaining sexual relationship on the pretext of marriage, but when the complainant conceived, he walked out alleging that pregnancy carried by her is on account of her relationship with other persons."'

Thus, the Court held that accusations faced by the applicant definitely require a thorough investigation to ascertain the version of the prosecutrix that she was forced to give her consent for sex and rejected the application.

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