Consensual Relationship Continuing For 6 Years, Not Rape: Jharkhand High Court Quashes Case For False Promise To Marry Widowed Sister-In-Law

Bhavya Singh

18 Sep 2023 4:45 AM GMT

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  • Consensual Relationship Continuing For 6 Years, Not Rape: Jharkhand High Court Quashes Case For False Promise To Marry Widowed Sister-In-Law

    The Jharkhand High Court has granted relief to a man accused of raping his widowed sister-in-law under pretext of false to marry her, asserting that prosecutrix was a married woman of legal age, was well aware of the consequences of her relationship with her brother-in-law.Justice Subhash Chand observed that the evidence presented did not establish the victim's consent was obtained...

    The Jharkhand High Court has granted relief to a man accused of raping his widowed sister-in-law under pretext of false to marry her, asserting that prosecutrix was a married woman of legal age, was well aware of the consequences of her relationship with her brother-in-law.

    Justice Subhash Chand observed that the evidence presented did not establish the victim's consent was obtained through fraud.

    "Admittedly, the victim was major and a married lady, she was very much aware in regard to sexual relations being established with her brother-in-law. The consent cannot be said to be obtained under misconception in view of Section 90 of the Indian Penal Code reason being that she had been continuously in establishing sexual relation with the petitioner for six years. Being a major and married lady, she was very much aware the consequences to establish sexual relation without getting married. From the allegations made in the FIR on their face do not indicate that the consent was obtained by playing fraud upon the victim."

    The case stemmed from a Criminal Revision filed on behalf of the petitioner against trial court order which declined his discharge petition filed under Section 227 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

    The case revolved around the allegations made by the victim, who claimed that after her husband's demise, the accused, her late spouse's younger brother, took responsibility for her. Over time, he allegedly engaged in a romantic relationship with her, promising marriage but ultimately engaging in sexual misconduct for six years. The victim became pregnant twice during this period, both pregnancies ending in abortions. The victim asserted that she was deceived by the false promise of marriage, which the accused later reneged on.

    Taking into account the accusations outlined in the FIR, which were being substantiated by the statements of the victim and other individuals serving as witnesses, the Court was tasked with determining whether the accused could be charged under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code for the alleged offence or not.

    The Court observed, “in view of the allegations made in the FIR and the evidence collected by the Investigating Officer and also keeping in view the above settled propositions of law as laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court as given hereinabove, the allegations made in the FIR are belied that the victim was deceived by the petitioner to marry with her. Taking into account the totality of the facts and allegations made in the FIR, no offence under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code is made out.”

    “So far as the contentions made by the learned counsel for the petitioner that after rejecting the discharge application of the petitioner, the charge was framed, trial was commenced and four witnesses were examined. If the charge has been framed and trial has commenced on the sole ground, it cannot be accepted that this Criminal Revision has become infructuous,” the Court added.

    Therefore, in view of the allegations made in the FIR itself and the evidence collected by the Investigating Officer, the Court was of the definite opinion that there was no sufficient ground to make out the offence under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, which was punishable under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code against the accused.

    As a result, it set aside the previous order and allowed the Criminal Revision, effectively discharging the petitioner from the charges framed under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.

    Case Title: RM vs. The State of Jharkhand and Another

    Case No.: Cr. Revision No.355 of 2022

    Counsel For the Petitioner : Mr. Rajesh Kumar, Advocate

    Counsel For the State : Mr. Bhola Nath Ojha, A.P.P.

    Counsel For the O.P. No.2 : Mr. C.S. Pandey, Advocate Mrs. Bina Pandey, Advocate

    LL Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Jha) 44

    Click Here To Read/Download Judgment

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