HC: Ending long, family approved consensual relationship is not rape - Hindustan Times
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HC: Ending long, family approved consensual relationship is not rape

Sep 20, 2023 11:38 PM IST

The court was dealing with a plea by a man to quash the criminal case against him for allegedly raping a woman on the false pretext of marriage

PRAYAGRAJ The Allahabad high court has held that if the relationship between a man and woman was longstanding and physical relationship developed between them, then in such situation, any subsequent breach of such relationship would not amount to the offence of rape.

Allahabad high court (File Photo)
Allahabad high court (File Photo)

The court was dealing with a plea by a man to quash the criminal case against him for allegedly raping a woman on the false pretext of marriage.

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While allowing the petition filed by one Jiyaullah, Justice Anish Kumar Gupta quashed the charge sheet, summoning order and the entire proceedings of the criminal case pending against the petitioner under Section 376 (rape) and other sections of the IPC pending before judicial magistrate, Sant Kabir Nagar sessions court.

Earlier, a criminal case alleging rape and other offences was registered against the petitioner at Mahila Thana, Sant Kabir Nagar district, and a charge sheet was filed against him on March 16, 2020. The court issued summons to him on December 10, 2020.

Giving this judgment, the court observed: “Thus, from the proposition of law as enunciated in the apex court’s judgments, this court is of the view that even assuming that all the allegations made against the applicant herein are true for the purposes of considering the application for quashing the case under Section 482 (inherent powers of high court) of criminal procedure code (CrPC), no offence under Section 376 (rape) is established, as the relationship between the parties was of consensual nature and which has an approval of the family as well and the initial promise of marriage by the applicant herein was not false.”

“It is only after subsequent developments between the parties, the applicant herein has refused to marry the applicant herein. Since, the relationship between the parties was longstanding and the victim as well as her family members knew the consequences of the relationship, therefore, any subsequent breach of such relationship would not amount to the offence of rape,” it said.

As per facts of the case, the victim is an adult. Few years back, she visited Gorakhpur, where her sister was married and the accused/applicant met her for the first time. Therefore, whenever the victim used to visit her sister’s house in Gorakhpur, she used to meet him.

It was noted that during these meetings, they fell in love with each other and the applicant herein started visiting the house of the victim. Out of such relationship, the victim and her parents sent him to Saudi Arabia by arranging funds by selling jewellery etc. When the applicant herein came back from Saudi Arabia, the victim and her family members pressurized the applicant herein for marriage with the victim. The accused applicant herein refused to marry the victim. It was further alleged in the FIR that the applicant herein made physical relations with the victim on the promise of marriage, against her will.

The counsel for the petitioner had quoted a judgment of the apex court in the case of Shivashankar @ Shiva Vs. State of Karnataka (criminal appeal no- 504 of 2018), wherein the apex court held that “it is, however, difficult to hold sexual intercourse, which has continued for eight years, as ‘rape’ especially in the face of the complainant’s own allegation that they lived together as man and wife.”

In the judgment dated September 15, the court also mentioned another case of apex court, in Pramod Suryabhan Pawar vs. the State of Maharashtra and another (criminal appeal no. 1165 of 2019), where the complainant travelled to visit and reside with the accused. Hence, the court held that the allegations in the FIR belie the case that she was deceived by the appellant’s promise of marriage.

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