This recent Delhi High Court judgment, contrary to how it was first reported [link] and shared on facebook – does not say that menopausal women cannot be raped.
In December 2010, the victim was found dead inside her house … along with an inebriated Achey Lal … The post-mortem of the victim revealed that she has sustained injuries on her vagina, and traces of alcohol were found on her, too. [link]
But it does point out that the deceased had consumed alcohol along with the accused and that the sexual act was forceful enough and was the cause of the death of the 65-70 year old.
Why was the accused acquitted?
1. It ‘has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt’ that sexual intercourse was without consent. (Because there were no injuries except around the vagina). – So, rape not confirmed.
2. The accused ‘neither had any intention nor knowledge that such a forceful act of sexual intercourse would cause the death of the deceased.‘ – So, not murder.
Read more at:
Even if the sexual intercourse was forceful it was not forcible and contrary to the wishes and consent of the deceased.
In the present case the post-mortem report shows that the deceased had consumed alcohol and was subjected to sexual intercourse. The finding of the post-mortem Doctor is categorical that the aspiration of gastric contents was caused due to forceful sexual intercourse.
…. it is proved beyond reasonable doubt from the post- mortem report that the deceased had consumed alcohol and was subjected to sexual intercourse. Achey Lal even if held guilty for causing the offence of Section 376 IPC cannot be held guilty for offence under Section 302 IPC as he neither had any intention nor knowledge that such a forceful act of sexual intercourse would cause the death of the deceased. Consequently he is acquitted for the offence punishable under Section 302 IPC.
9. 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. From the MLC of Achey Lal and the post-mortem of the deceased it is evident that both Achey Lal and deceased had consumed alcohol. The forceful penetration is evident from the injuries on the vaginal orifices. However, besides the injuries on the vagina there is no other injury mark on the body of the deceased or on the appellant to show that there was any protest by the deceased. Hence we are of the opinion that it has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the appellant committed sexual intercourse with the deceased contrary to her wishes or her consent. Consequently the appellant is also acquitted of the charges under Section 376 IPC. The impugned judgment of conviction and order on sentence are set aside.
Another link: Delhi HC didn’t say menopausal women can’t be raped: Here’s what it really said
Other cases where sexual assault victims had consumed alcohol:
When a crime is a punishment or a lesson taught to the victim.
‘The woman said she was inebriated when a co-worker took her to a room and raped her.’
Rapist said that coming from Afghanistan meant he didn’t understand what ‘consent’ was.