Supreme Court Clarifies Conditions for offence of Rape Based on False Promise of Marriage

Jan31,2024 #Fallse promise #Marriage #Rape

LI Network

Published on: January 31, 2024 at 15:02 IST

In a recent ruling, the Supreme Court has emphasized that to establish the offense of rape on the grounds of a false promise of marriage, it is crucial to prove that the woman’s consent was obtained based on this false promise right from the beginning.

Quoting from the judgment in Anurag Soni v State of Chhattisgarh (2019), a bench comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal highlighted that if it can be established that the victim’s consent was a result of a false promise from the inception, then there is no valid consent, making the offense of rape applicable.

The case under consideration involved an appeal filed by a man challenging the Bombay High Court’s decision to not quash the rape case against him.

According to the prosecution, the man and woman maintained a physical relationship for four years (2013-2017) under the belief that they would eventually get married.

However, in 2018, the woman discovered pictures of the man’s engagement with another woman, leading her to file an FIR, alleging that her consent was based on a false promise of marriage.

The man, on the other hand, claimed that they had already married in 2017 and presented a ‘nikahnama’ as evidence.

After reviewing the material on record, the Supreme Court noted that the woman was above 18 years old when she consented to the physical relationship and did not object to it for the entire four-year period.

The Court observed that it was implausible to accept that the woman continued the relationship based on a false promise of marriage.

Referring to the ‘nikahnama,’ the Court acknowledged the admitted engagement between the parties and concluded that the case of a false promise to marry was not established from the inception.

The Court held that continuing the prosecution in this case would be an abuse of the legal process, as the evidence, including the ‘nikahnama,’ indicated that the man had indeed married the woman.

This ruling provides clarity on the conditions required to establish the offense of rape based on a false promise of marriage, offering guidance for similar cases in the future.


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