J&K HC: Breach of promise to marry not always inducement to rape

Team SoOLEGAL 17 Dec 2018 6:00pm

J&K HC: Breach of promise to marry not always inducement to rape

Quashing rape charges against an Army man, a single judge-bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta of J&K High Court has held that the promise to marry cannot always be a condition precedent to sexual relations between two otherwise consenting adults.

Justice Gupta in his judgment stated that while consent obtained by fraud is no consent and sexual relations in such a scenario would amount to rape, but a promise to marry cannot be said to be an inducement in all cases and could differ according to the facts of the case.

The judge’s verdict came while hearing a petition, in which the petitioner has alleged that a marriage proposal from the complainant’s family made in 2016 had been agreed to by his family, and the wedding was to occur in June 2017. However, just before the ceremony, the petitioner found out that the complainant allegedly had a love affair with someone else.

And, the marriage was called off because of this revelation, following which the petitioner was threatened by the complainant’s family with charges of rape.

Subsequently, an FIR was lodged against the petitioner at the request of the complainant. The petitioner then approached the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir to get the rape charges framed against him quashed.

When the case came up for hearing before the J&K HC, the complainant submitted that she knew the petitioner since the year 2010, and in fact, has been in a courtship with him since then. The complainant further submitted before the bench that the two got engaged in February of 2017.

The complainant claimed that after the engagement, the petitioner took her on trips to several outstation places and had sexual relations with her “on the assurance of marriage” while “acting fraudulently and dishonestly”.

The Court after carefully examining the complainant’s admissions noted:

Now-a-days there are cases where boy and girl having love affair, indulging into sexual relationship and ultimately ending into a breakup. Undoubtedly that amounts to consensual sexual relationship as they were in love with each other.”

The Court then held that sexual relationship cannot be said to be rape unless the consent is obtained through fraud.

In the event of consent obtained by fraud, inducement is a necessary ingredient. There should be some material on record to believe prima facie that the girl was induced by the accused to such an extent that she was ready to have sexual intercourse with him. Promise to marry cannot be said to be an inducement in all cases, it differ from facts of case. (sic)”

The Court further added that if the petitioner had possessed a fraudulent intention, he won’t have told the complainant to study further and borne her expenses. Thus,

Where there is mere breach of promise of marriage, and before breach they have sexual relationship, that sexual indulgent may amount to consensual one and not rape as defined in section 376 RPC. (sic)”

Justice Gupta finally held that though there is a breach of promise of marriage, the complainant is an educated adult ought to be fully aware of the result of a sexual relationship. Besides, there was nothing on record to confirm the petitioner’s fraudulent intent, the Court held.

The Court also quashed the charge framed against the petitioner under Section 506 (criminal intimidation), which termed the FIR as being “manifestly attended with mala fide intention and has been maliciously instituted”.

Source: Bar&Bench

Tagged: Rape Charges   Sexual Relations   FIR   Jammu & Kashmir High Court   Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta   Section 376 RPC  
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