India

Consensual sex on genuine promise of marriage not rape: Supreme Court  


A view of Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File

A view of Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

The Supreme Court has held that it is not rape if consensual physical relationship was based on a genuine promise of marriage which could not be fulfilled.

A Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul highlighted the distinction between "a false promise to marriage which is given on understanding by the maker that it will be broken and a breach of promise which is made in good faith but subsequently not fulfilled".

The court quashed an FIR registered in 2016. A woman had accused the appellant of rape and cheating. They were in a consensual relationship on the basis of an assurance of marriage given by the man. However, the duo fell apart.

Three years later the woman filed the complaint against him.

The court said the registration of FIR in the case amounted to abuse of the criminal process.

"The parties chose to have physical relationship without marriage for a considerable period of time. For some reason, the parties fell apart. It can happen both before or after marriage," the court recorded in the order.

It said further proceedings in the FIR would amount to harassment of the man by using the criminal process. The Bench quashed the FIR.

The Bench compared the case to the facts of a 2019 judgment, which said the “complainant was aware that there existed obstacles in marrying the accused and still continued to engage in sexual relations”, and quashed the FIR.


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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 12:12:20 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/consensual-sex-on-genuine-promise-of-marriage-not-rape-sc/article65750921.ece