Married Woman Can't Claim Consent To Establish Physical Relations Outside Marriage Obtained On False Promise To Marry: Jharkhand HC Quashes Rape FIR

Bhavya Singh

18 Sep 2023 5:45 AM GMT

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  • Married Woman Cant Claim Consent To Establish Physical Relations Outside Marriage Obtained On False Promise To Marry: Jharkhand HC Quashes Rape FIR

    The Jharkhand High Court has dismissed a rape case filed by a woman who was a married adult, noting that she was fully aware of the potential consequences of engaging in a physical relationship with another person. The court ruled that the accused could not be deemed to have obtained her consent under false pretense, thus quashing the charges based on an alleged promise of...

    The Jharkhand High Court has dismissed a rape case filed by a woman who was a married adult, noting that she was fully aware of the potential consequences of engaging in a physical relationship with another person.

    The court ruled that the accused could not be deemed to have obtained her consent under false pretense, thus quashing the charges based on an alleged promise of marriage.

    Justice Subhash Chand observed,

    “...the victim was major since the very time when she came in contact with the accused and while during the love affairs of the victim with the accused Abhishek Kumar Pal at college time, the victim was major, while the accused was minor at that time being 2 years younger to the victim.”

    “Victim married with V [name redacted] in the year 2018 as she was major; still without getting the marriage dissolved by the competent court of law, she established physical relation with the accused Abhishek Kumar Pal though on allurement to marry with her. The victim being the major and married lady she was very well aware in regard to the consequence of the physical relation with another person, more so she had married in the year 2018. Therefore, the consent herein cannot be said to be obtained by the accused under misconception. Therefore, the allegations made in the FIR are believed that she was deceived by accused,” Justice Chand added.

    This ruling came in a Criminal Revision filed against the order passed by the Sessions Court. The original case revolved around allegations that the accused had lured the informant into a romantic relationship, engaging in physical intimacy, and pressuring her not to reveal their relationship to her parents.

    Subsequently, the accused left to pursue his education, and the informant got married to someone else. Despite this, the accused maintained contact with her, emotionally manipulating her. The informant eventually divorced her husband in 2019 under the promise of marriage from the accused.

    In 2020, both the informant and the accused applied for marriage registration, but due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the process was delayed. During this period, the accused reportedly had further physical relations with the informant. However, when the informant disclosed their relationship to her parents, the accused's family allegedly pressured him to refuse marriage, and the informant claimed to be criminally intimidated by the accused's family.

    Based on the informant's written statement, a case was registered against the accused, his brother, and his mother under Sections 376 (Punishment for rape) and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

    The Court observed, “Indeed, no judicial divorce was taken by the informant-victim from her former husband. The divorce agreement, which is on record between the informant-victim and her former husband V, in which, by way of mutual agreement reduced in writing on Rs.20/- stamp the marriage dated 26.04.2018 between the victim-informant and V was dissolved, therefore, this marriage was not judicially dissolved by the competent court.”

    “This agreement in regard to the dissolution of marriage is nothing but a waste paper which has no evidential value in the eye of law. Since marriage of the victim was solemnized with V on 26.04.2018; but still after solemnization of marriage, the victim continued in contact and established relation with the accused,” the Court added.

    Therefore, in view of the allegations made in the FIR itself and the evidence collected by the Investigating Officer, the Court said that the there was no sufficient ground to make out the offence under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code against the accused, as such, the impugned order passed by the learned Court below in rejecting the discharge application of the petitioner bears illegality and the same needs interference.

    Accordingly, the order passed by the Court below was set-aside, and the petitioner was discharged from the charge framed under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.

    Counsel For the Petitioner : Mr. Rajeeva Sharma, Sr. Advocate

    Counsel For the State : Mr. Abhay Kumar Tiwari, A.P.P.

    Counsel For the O.P. No.2 : Mr. Sunil Kumar, Advocate

    LL Citation: 2023 Livelaw (Jha) 43

    Case Title: Abhishek Kumar Paul vs. The State of Jharkhand and Another

    Case No.: Cr. Revision No.313 of 2022

    Click Here To Read Judgment

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