In a startling case, an unwed mother married her rapist 10 years after the ordeal. Calcutta High Court sentenced the rapist to 10 years in prison recently. Swapan Chatterjee married Tumpa Ghose just before the 72 hours time given to him by the High Court to surrender. Although it was not a legal ground to evade arrest, Tumpa’s lawyers intervened “ To give the couple some time together (for marriage).”
A month after the judgment, Swapan remains unofficially free but officially declared absconding- thanks to local police cooperation! Tumpa says she is enjoying the marriage with him. The High Court has now no jurisdiction over the case and cannot withdraw its own judgment.
Lawyers of both the bride and groom are now preparing to move the Supreme Court for the sake of the newly married couple so that the charges against the convict can be dropped.
The flip side of the story is that Swapan and Tumpa, residents of Titlan village in Burdwan district fell in love with each other a decade ago. Tumpa discovered in 1998 that she was pregnant and told her lover that they must marry immediately.
But Swapan denied having any relationship with his lover leave alone marry her. The disconsolate girl then lodged an FIR with the police accusing Swapan of raping her. A DNA test was ordered by the Trial Court to ascertain the fatherhood of the baby. When the DNA test results confirmed that Swapan was the father of the baby, the Trial Court sentenced him to 10 years rigorous imprisonment in 2003.
Swapan filed an appeal in the division bench of the High Court ‘citing consensual sex relation with Tumpa not amounting to rape.’ Division bench of Justice D.P.Dasgupta and Justice P.K.Deb turned down the plea of the accused in July’08 and ordered him to surrender within 72 hours.
But the accused Swapan decided to marry her lover, which she gleefully accepted to give her baby, born in 1998, the gift and blessings of the father. A visibly happy Tumpa told reporters, “Swapan and me married on 8th July duly registering the marriage with marriage registration officer on 8th August. We are staying happily.”
However it will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court handles the complicated case.