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Breaching Promise To Marry Will Not Amount To Offence Of Cheating Under IPC : Karnataka High Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
24 Jan 2022 8:25 AM GMT
Breaching Promise To Marry Will Not Amount To Offence Of Cheating Under IPC : Karnataka High Court
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The Karnataka High Court while quashing the FIR registered against a man and his family has reiterated that not abiding with the promise of marriage will not amount to the offence of cheating under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code. A single-judge bench of Justice K Natarajan while allowing the petition filed by Venkatesh and others said "Absolutely there is no...

The Karnataka High Court while quashing the FIR registered against a man and his family has reiterated that not abiding with the promise of marriage will not amount to the offence of cheating under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code.

A single-judge bench of Justice K Natarajan while allowing the petition filed by Venkatesh and others said "Absolutely there is no ingredient stated by her in order to show that there is a criminal intention of cheating by petitioner No.1 and thereby, he has promised to marry her but has broken his promise."

The complainant had lodged a complaint on May 3, 2020, with the Ramamurthy Nagar police station under section 420, 506 read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code against the accused. It was alleged that the complainant and the man were in a relationship and that he had promised to marry her. Subsequently, he left her and said to have married some other lady.

Advocate N S Sriraj Gowda appearing for the petitioners had argued "Mere promise of marriage and not marrying her cannot be said to be cheating as per the provision of Section 415 of IPC. Further, there is no ingredient for invoking the said section. Moreover, after the filing of the case in May-2020, absolutely no investigation by the Police in spite of the petitioners appearing before the Police after obtaining the bail and there is no progress. The complaint is filed only to harass the petitioners.

Court findings:

The court on going through the complaint noted "Admittedly respondent No.2 filed a complaint stating that accused No.1/petitioner No.1 fell in love with her and he has promised to marry her. Subsequently, he failed to marry her and he married somebody else and other petitioners said to have helped petitioner No.1 to marry some other lady."

It added "A plain reading of the complaint would reveal that it does not attract any ingredient of Section 415 of IPC in order to show that the accused persons have committed the offence under Section 420 of IPC and also she has just stated that the accused have also threatened her in order to attract Section 506 of IPC."

The court relied on Madras High Court Judgement in the case of K.U.Prabhu Raj Vs. State by Sub Inspector of Police, A.W.P.S. Tambaram and another reported in 2012-3-L.W.770 and also the Supreme Court judgement in the case of S.W.PALANITKAR AND OTHERS VS. STATE OF BIHAR AND ANOTHER reported in (2002) 1 SCC 241, wherein it was held that "Mere breach of contract cannot give rise to any criminal prosecution for cheating unless fraudulent or dishonest intention is shown right at the beginning of the transaction and the time when the offence is said to have been committed."

Following which the court said "In view of the judgement of the Hon'ble Supreme Court, respondent No.2 has failed to make out a case of criminal intention of petitioner No.1 from the beginning for cheating the complainant. That apart, the aforesaid judgement of the High Court of judicature at Madras is applicable to the case where the promise of marriage will not attract Section 420 of IPC."

Accordingly, it held "Such being the case, continuing the proceedings or investigation against the petitioners is abuse of process of law and therefore, the same is liable to be quashed."

Case Title: Venkatesh And State of Karnataka Case No: Criminal Petition No 5865/2021

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Kar) 25

Date of Order: January 13, 2022

Appearance: Advocate N S Siriraj Gowda for M/s Poovayya And Co

Advocate Mahesh Shetty for R1

Click here to read/download the judgment

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