An Indian man who was convicted of raping and killing his “mother” has reportedly had his conviction overturned and has been set free by a New Delhi High Court. The court claims that the woman was over the age of menopause and it couldn’t be proven that she didn’t consent to sex.
Achey Lal reportedly killed the 60-year-old woman he called “mother” by having “forceful sex” with her while he was inebriated in December 2010. He was convicted of murder and rape and sentenced to life in prison before a court decided to overturn the conviction this month because they could not prove she had “defensive injuries” to prove she hadn’t consented to sex with Lal, reports NDTV.
“Achey Lal, even if held guilty for causing the offence of rape, cannot be held guilty of murder as he neither had any intention nor knowledge that such a forceful act of sexual intercourse would cause the death of the woman,” the court said. “As regards the offence punishable under Section 376 (rape) of the IPC, the woman was aged over 60 years, thus beyond the age of menopause.”
The court also said the woman had alcohol in her blood at the time of the incident and continued, “We find force in the contention of the counsel for the appellant (Achey) that even if the sexual intercourse was forceful, it was not forcible and contrary to the wishes and consent of 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.”
The woman reportedly worked as a domestic helper at homes in north Delhi. Her body was found next to an empty bottle of whisky, according to police.
Photo Credit: New Delhi High Court, Flickr