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False promise of marriage: Length of relationship a factor in rape case, says HC

Justice M Nagaprasanna said this while quashing the charge sheet against the accused-petitioner insofar as charges of rape, criminal breach of trust etc
Last Updated : 11 March 2023, 22:30 IST
Last Updated : 11 March 2023, 22:30 IST

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The high court has held that the length of a relationship is a factor to be considered in a case of rape registered on the basis of false promise of marriage.

Justice M Nagaprasanna said this while quashing the charge sheet against the accused-petitioner insofar as charges of rape, criminal breach of trust etc.

The petitioner had challenged the proceedings initiated against him before the City Civil and Sessions court in Bengaluru. The petitioner and the complainant woman were in a relationship for five years and wanted to get married. The petitioner claimed that despite his best efforts, the marriage could not take place due to caste equations.

He, further, contended that the complainant turned around and branded the relationship with him to be on the false pretext of marriage. On the other hand, the complainant woman claimed that if consent was obtained by false promise or false pretext of marriage, it would amount to rape, as consent was not given by free will.

Justice M Nagaprasanna noted that the consent in the case at hand was not once, twice or thrice, but for five years as narrated in the complaint.

“Therefore, for five long years, it cannot be said that the consent of a woman has been taken for having such instances, all along against her will. It is the length of the relationship and the acts in such period of such relationship between the two that takes away the rigor of ingredients of Section 375 of the IPC, for it to become an offence under Section 376 of the IPC,” the court said.

The court also said that merely because there were financial transactions between the accused and the complainant that by itself would not become an ingredient of criminal breach of trust under IPC section 406. However, the accused-petitioner has to face trial insofar as offences under IPS sections 323 (grievous assault) and section 506 (criminal intimidation).

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Published 11 March 2023, 17:25 IST

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