Obtaining Consent By False Promise Of Marriage Shall Be In Proximity To Time: SC While Acquitting Rape Convict

Team SoOLEGAL 29 Sep 2020 4:21pm

Obtaining Consent By False Promise Of Marriage Shall Be In Proximity To Time: SC While Acquitting Rape Convict

The Supreme Court while hearing an appeal of a rape accused (Maheshwar Tigga) has overturned Trial Court’s and Karnataka High Court’s verdict.

The accused belongs to Schedule Tribe and was in relationship with a Christian girl. The Apex court observed that appellant and prosecutrix both were in a serious relationship and were consensually living together and therefore Section 375 of IPC should not have been applied.

However Section 90 of IPC follows that consent by misrepresentation is illegal, Court stated "But the misconception of fact has to be in proximity of time to the occurrence and cannot be spread over a period of four years. It hardly needs any elaboration that the consent by the appellant was a conscious and informed choice made by her after due deliberation, it being spread over a long period of time coupled with a conscious positive action not to protest."

The bench comprising of Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee noted through letters exchanged between them that their love grows and matures at a sufficient period of time. The bench said,” They were both smitten by each other and passions of youth ruled over their minds and emotions. The physical relations that followed was not isolated or sporadic in nature, but regular over the years. The prosecutrix had even gone and resided in the house of the appellant." It was also expressed in letters that appellant’s family treats her well unlike her family who beats her because of affair.

While moving on to the key question, of whether consent granted by prosecutrix was based on misconception or not, the Bench observed that prosecutrix was already aware of the accused’s caste and religion and hence the prosecutrix had made an informed choice of staying in a relationship with the accused. Court held "We have no hesitation in concluding that the consent of the prosecutrix was but a conscious and deliberate choice, as distinct from an involuntary action or denial and which opportunity was available to her, because of her deep ­seated love for the appellant leading her to willingly permit him liberties with her body, which according to normal human behavior are permitted only to a person with whom one is deeply in love." 

Tagged: Supreme Court   Karnataka High Court   Trial Court   Section 375   Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman   Justice Navin Sinha   Justice Indira Banerjee  
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