Sexual intercourse forceful but not forcible does not amount to rape

Delhi High Court stating sexual intercourse which is forceful but not forcible does not amount to rape set aside the life imprisonment awarded to a man for raping and killing a 60 year old woman. Can forceful sex with a 65-year-old woman, who is beyond the age of menopause, punishable under law? In other words, whether sexual intercourse with a post-menopausal woman can be treated as rape.

In December 2010, the victim was found dead inside her house in Majnu ka Tila along with an inebriated Achey Lal by a girl at whose house the victim worked. Achey Lal was arrested and eventually sentenced to 10 years of rigourous imprisonment. The post-mortem of the victim revealed that she has sustained injuries on her vagina, and traces of alcohol were found on her, too.

The judgement, made by a bench comprising Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Mukta Gupta has let off the accused, 49-year-old Achey Lal, waiving off the punishment meted out to the accused on the grounds that even if the intercourse “has been forceful, it was not forcible”.

“As regards the offence punishable under Section 376 IPC the deceased was aged around 65-70 years, thus beyond the age of menopause. We find force in the contention of the learned counsel for the appellant that even if the sexual intercourse was forceful it was not forcible and contrary to the wishes and consent of the deceased,” read the judgement.

Read the Judgment