Drunk woman’s consent to sex is not valid - Bombay HC

Drunk woman’s consent to sex is not valid - Bombay HC

Drunk woman’s consent to sex is not valid - Bombay HC

In a recent case in Mumbai, the High Court rejected the bail of three rape accused on grounds that a woman who is drunk is not in a state to given free consent to anyone and hence taking advantage of her vulnerability will be considered rape. This was a historical judgement in the nation where the politicians and the police openly blame the victim of rape and marital rape is yet to become punishable.

However, there are others who are of the view that the judgement was wrong and that a drunken woman should either be responsible or not cry rape later. In UK and other countries the same rule applies. Do not have sex with a drunk woman or else you might end up facing charges of rape if the girl later decides to file a complaint. This kind of ruling in India should be a positive change towards ending patriarchy.


1. Modesty of men

A man in his right state of mind and someone who respects the modesty of women would not try taking advantage of her being drunk and wasted. If she isn’t conscious enough to remember, obviously the guy should get how drunk she is and hence her consent doesn’t count. Only psychopaths would want to have sex with a woman who has blacked out.

2. She could have been drugged

Spiking drinks and getting her deliberately drunk are all the choicest weapons of psychopaths looking for such chances. This kind of judgement and ruling would secure women from such animals that are free to romp about in our society.

3. Indian men don’t understand consent

At least most of them don’t. And there isn’t much blaming them when society believes that it is a girl whose dressing, friendliness towards the opposite sex is her provocation for rape. It is absolutely important for the safety of modern women who take their stand on the right to go partying and clubbing that these moral policing men are made to shut up.

4. The law says so

Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code states that not every ‘yes’ is covered as valid consent and hence intoxication is a state that should not be preferred as an excuse to take advantage of her drunken state. Justice Mridula Bhatkar emphasised that ‘without a woman’s consent’ has a wider meaning and covers a broader area of her wish to have sexual intercourse.

5. She wouldn’t be accusing rape if she had consented

In the case that called for the above verdict, the victim accused her friend and his two other friends of taking her to their flat after spiking her drink. It is very clear in these matters that the women wouldn’t be standing before the court crying rape if she had consented. Our society doesn’t fail to accuse women even if the convicts are proven guilty. It takes a lot of strength from a woman to take stand on these matters.


1. Drinking responsibly

Over drinking is an issue in itself. In that state she could have driven home and killed someone on the way. Would that make her innocent? It is not wrong for a woman or for men for that matter to consume alcohol but over drinking leads to a series of issues and hence everyone needs to know their limits when drinking.

2. Her consent becomes invalid when drunk but what if he was drunk too?

Her consent is declared invalid when she is that drunk. What if the guy is also too drunk and they have sex in the heat of the moment and under the effect of alcohol? She will wake up sobered and cry rape and the guy would suddenly become a rapist even though what they had was consensual. The law could be misused and it will be just like some other false accusations.

3. How drunk is too drunk?

Women and men, young and wanting to be liberated have been fighting for the right to have premarital sex. They are also open to the idea of meeting up a strange, sharing a drink and a good laugh and ending up having sex - one night stands as we call it. How is a guy supposed to know that she is too drunk and should be left alone? All he knows is that Bombay HC rules that she has the right to wake up sober and cry rape on his account.

All arguments aside, the judgement is a positive one and will bring positivity amongst people who believe that it is “wrong” for a woman to get drunk and go partying at night. However, the court also added, “But if she says, yes, this yes must be free and unambiguous for the incident to not amount to rape.
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