Breaking off marriage promise not cheating, rape: Bombay HC

  • Kanchan Chaudhari, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jul 24, 2015 11:32 IST

Breaking the promise to marry does not amount to cheating, even if the couple was maintaining a consensual physical relationship, the Bombay high court held while granting bail to a railway employee charged with rape.

The man has been accused of rape by his former girlfriend, on the grounds that he did not honour a promise to marry her.

According to her complaint, the 30-year-old woman was having an affair with the railway employee since 2002, but she married someone else in May 2009. However, she continued her relationship with the accused, and purportedly on his persuasion and promise to marry, divorced her husband two months after the marriage.

Last year, the railway employee decided to marry some other woman. The complainant then approached the woman’s family, and showed them her intimate pictures with the accused. The marriage was called off, but the man married another woman, and one mammoth later, in May 2015, a complaint of rape and cheating was registered with the Neral police.

The railway employee approached the high court seeking a pre-arrest bail, claiming their relationship was consensual, and could not be termed rape.

Justice Mridula Bhatkar granted the bail on a bond of Rs30,000, noting “it is an unfortunate case of a frustrated love affair.”

“Prima facie, it is difficult to accept, when the complainant is major and a married woman, she consented for sex only because there was promise to marry by a person,” said Justice Bhatkar.

“Such woman is responsible for her decision to have sex,” the judge said further, adding “Even though a promise to marry was given, subsequently if at all the party feels it is not possible to continue the relationship as they are not compatible and there are differences of opinion, it cannot be called cheating.”

The court said there wasn’t much substance in the complainant’s allegation that the accused circulated her obscene clips in the locality. The court noted the allegation was belated and came for the first time when her supplementary statement was recorded, much after the registration of the First Information Report.

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