Sonu @ Subhash Kumar vs. State of Uttar Pradesh - Synopsis
Deyasini Das 14 Jul 2021

In the instant case, the accused obtained consent for physical relationship from the victim by falsely promising to marry her. The couple for one and a half year were in a love relationship. The victim was called upon by Sonu, the accused to visit Jhansi in order to get married legally. As the respondent visited Jhansi, she was assaulted by Sonu’s sister and mother. The appellants’ father advised her to gather some money and escape as he knew Sonu’s true intention of not marrying her. The prosecutrix was being physically exploited for the whole period of their love relationship and given hopes of marriage. 

The issue highlighted in the case was, if sexual intercourse by deceiving a woman with hopes of marriage, amounts to rape or not. 

The counsel on behalf of the accused pleaded for quashing the charge sheet, presenting the facts that the victim was a major and she entered the physical relation with her own free will. To support the contentions made by the counsel, Pramod Suryabhan Pawar v. State of Maharashtra was cited. It was also contended that the victim already knew that Sonu’s marriage was fixed with another girl named, Priyanka Soni but still she and her family members pressurised the accused for marriage. 

The court relied upon the Pramod Suryabhan Pawar’s  case and observed, “To summarise the legal position that emerges from the above cases, the “consent” of a woman with respect to Section 375 must involve an active and reasoned deliberation towards the proposed act. To establish whether the “consent” was vitiated by a “misconception of fact” arising out of a promise to marry, two propositions must be established. The promise of marriage must have been a false promise, given in bad faith and with no intention of being adhered to at the time it was given. The false promise itself must be of immediate relevance, or bear a direct nexus to the woman’s decision to engage in the sexual act.” 

Thus, the court held that since the promise to marry at the inception was not false, proceedings initiated under Section 376 IPC  were liable to be quashed.


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