Exercise of Sexual Choices Does Not Give a Partner the Right to Exploit a Woman: Delhi High Court

Team SoOLEGAL 25 Oct 2021 2:28pm

Exercise of Sexual Choices Does Not Give a Partner the Right to Exploit a Woman: Delhi High Court

NEW DELHI: When denying bail to a man, Delhi High court stated that a woman exercising sexual autonomy via consent cannot be presumed to have consented to the violation of her reproductive rights.

The man was accused of repeatedly raping a woman and coercing her into terminating her pregnancy.

The Delhi Court went on to say that a woman's sexual choices do not give her partner the right to sexually exploit her, and that she does not give up her other rights, such as reproductive rights, when she enters into a sexual relationship with a partner.

In the Order, Additional Sessions Judge Vishal Gogne stated, "While parties in a consensual relationship may be on an even keel when sexual relations are consistent and long in duration, the act of contravening reproductive autonomy through multiple pregnancies and abortions takes away the element of consent, which may have been given for the sexual act itself."

The court stated that this was a "flawed construction" of the concept of bodily/sexual autonomy of a person/female.

"A woman's sexual choices do not confer on her partner any corresponding right to sexually exploit her," it continued. When a woman enters into a sexual relationship with a partner, she does not relinquish any of her other rights, including reproductive rights.

It was also noted that, on a prima facie basis, it could be assumed that the man's exploitative conduct in abusing the parties' sexual relationship resulted in previous pregnancies and has caused the complainant to continue with the current pregnancy in the interest of her health and future conception.

“It would indeed be a decision of immense difficulty for a young woman to go ahead with pregnancy as a single mother, especially when the child has been fathered by a person she accused of rape", it observed.

The accused had requested bail, claiming that he had been falsely accused in the case.

Tagged: Delhi High Court   sexual autonomy   fundamental rights  
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