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Analysis Of The Case Sheetal And Ors V. Rameshlal

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Statement of facts

Rameshlal, a 35 year old man was known to be extremely wealthy and owned a 4 storied building in the industrial hub, in the outskirts of Dunama. He lived alone despite all materialistic satisfaction. He was dedicated and focused in his work, and used all his energy towards achieving greater and greater successes. After some time when he achieved an all time high in life and felt as if he had reached the limit which in his case was they sky, he decided to take his life slow and gradually developed a habit of drinking . Unfortunately, on night of the incident he was invited to a club with his friends where they made him consume a huge amount of alcohol. He left the club in an inebriated state and in this state told his driver to take him to the industrial plot. Even though it was used for commercial purposes, it was used by workers and managers to spend the night, due to late working hours. On the night of incident, two female Managers who were staying there came out when they heard noises. On seeing Rameshlal, defendant ordered them to come into room one by one. These women after a while of hesitation submitted it to it thinking they might lose their jobs if they didn’t listen.

Sexual intercourse took place which resulted in both women getting impregnated. The women rejected the idea of abortion due to moral grounds and killing of a soul. The women being in state of financial crisis approached the Defendant to take care of babies needs and needs of their own. He refused stating it was not his duty since they rejected the idea of abortion and after repeated refusal by Defendant the plaintiff wrote threatening letters and even got goons to scare him which resulted in Defendant threatening both women into killing both the child. After this the women filed a case of rape and sexual intercourse by person in authority.

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Agrument advanced

Was there any lack of consent, let alone a clear refusal by the women?

The women did not explicitly express any lack of consent and did not say or indicate that they did not want to sleep with Rameshlal. There was no instance where they let Rameshlal know that they were against sleeping with him and were only doing so because of his authority. As soon as they were called, they went into the room one after the other, willingly. To Rameshlal, just like any other common man would look at it, it was consensual sex as he had asked them to do so and they obliged without any objections. Since consent has been established, it cannot be considered a rape as the most essential element of rape is lack of consent. Both rape and misuse of authority to sexually harass are clearly absent in this case.

Did Rameshlal at any point use his authority to coerce the women into sleeping with him?

When Rameshlal asked the women to sleep with him, there is no evidence that he used his authority or was looking to exploit individuals towards whom he had a fiduciary responsibility. He was more a common inebriated man looking to satisfy his pleasures in his immediate surroundings. He cannot be considered to have used his authority to seduce or coerce into submission, these women who were his subordinates at his work place. Section 376c of the Indian Penal Code considers use of authority to coerce subordinate employees into sexual relationships a serious offence although not amounting to rape. The fundamental element for this section to apply is abuse of position or fiduciary relationship. In this case however, there is inadequate evidence to sustain either claims. It was an act consummated by two consenting adults outside that took place outside work place setting since the building was used at night as a residence. Unlike typical instances of sexual harassment at the work place, which originate in the work place, this was a spontaneous one time instance which did not b ecome a continuing relationship.

Should the Defendant provide child support and maintain these women?

This issue is divided into two parts i.e child support and financial support to these womenIf the claimant wants to qualify for maintenance, there is a need to fulfill some criteria and for a mother to get maintenance it is necessary for her to be his wife under most of the acts.For example, Hindu maintenance act which states A Hindu wife is entitled to be provided for by her husband throughout the duration of her lifetime as per Section 18 of HAMA ’56. The only way the wife can null her maintenance is if she renounces being a Hindu and converts to a different religion, or if she commits adultery. But referring to precedent of Bombay high court (Indubai Jaydeo Pawar vs Draupada) and facts of the case this woman clearly doesn’t qualify as wife of the defendant. The precedent of Bombay high court was that a one-night stand doesn’t qualify as marriage under Hindu law and that if they are not married she cannot claim maintenance. The next part is child support: in past cases courts have held mother and father equally liable for child support. In one case the court directed a woman to get a job and contribute to support the child (Swati Kaushik vs Ashwani Sharma), so I would like to argue as to why my client should maintain the child fully. Is this due to the fact he is rich so he has the financial ability to do so? We are living in the 21st century where the feminist movement has gained huge momentum and the main core of this movement is the demand for equal rights of men and women. I request the court to keep this in mind and in case the argument of abortion is not justified, the responsibility of child support should be shared equally and it shouldn’t be distinguished on basis of gender.

Whether the claim of women towards not having an abortion is justified in this case?

Legally speaking the law favors the women in these cases but I beg to differ. The basic idea behind abortion is that women have last say in it is because it is their body and they should have a right to do what they want with it. This promotes a sense of right to choose among women but it is important to note that parenthood is about both father and mother and in most of cases the mother wants to abort and father doesn’t which is why cases are held for women. In our case however, the tables have been turned and the mother wants the child while the father wants to abort the child.

Now is the court willing to curb my clients’ right to choose and force him into parenthood?

The basic idea behind parenthood is that a child should get love of both mother and father and the court will uphold the case of women that they have a right to choose what happens with their body but we have to take into consideration that the act of intercourse between Rameshlal and the women was an accident without the purpose of getting the girls pregnant. It is evident from the fact that they hardly knew each other and a reasonable person in the right state of mind would not get a complete stranger pregnant to have his/her child.

Prayer

In light of the issues raised and arguments advanced it is prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to: Dismiss the petition and acquit Rameshlal of all charges And pass any other order in the ends of justice, equity and good conscience.All of which is most humbly and respectfully submitted.

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