Jilting A Lover Is Not A Crime: Delhi HC Upholds Acquittal Of 'Rape' Accused [Read Judgment]

Jilting A Lover Is Not A Crime: Delhi HC Upholds Acquittal Of

Jilting a lover, however abhorent that it may seem to some, is not an offence, said the Delhi High Court while upholding the acquittal a man accused of raping a woman on the pretext of promise to marry.

Justice Vibhu Bakhru observed that, continuing with an intimate relationship, which also involves engaging in sexual activity, over a significant period of time, cannot be said to be induced and involuntary, merely on the assertion that the other party has expressed its intention to get married.

While acquitting the accused, the Trial Court had observed that the accused cannot be held guilty for not marrying the prosecutrix because he and his family members were ready for the marriage but the parents of the prosecutrix did not want that their daughter should marry the accused. Examining the evidence on record, the High Court held that the claim of the prosecutrix that her consent was not voluntary but was obtained by inducing her on the pretext of a promise to marry is not established. In its judgment, the High Court made these observations

Jilting A Lover Is Not Crime

It is important to bear in mind that two consenting adults establishing a physical relationship, is not a crime. Jilting a lover, however abhorent that it may seem to some, is also not an offence punishable under the IPC

'No means No' to 'Yes means Yes'

In so far as consent to engage in a sexual act is concerned; the campaign 'no means no', that was initiated in the 1990's, embodies a universally accepted rule: a verbal 'no' is a definite indication of not giving consent to engage in a sexual act. There is now wide acceptance to more ahead from the rule of 'no means no' to 'yes means yes'. Thus, unless there is an affirmative, conscious and voluntary consent to engage in sex; the same would constitute an offence.

Promise of marriage cannot be held out as an inducement for engaging in sex over a protracted and indefinite period of time.

Inducement to have a physical relationship by promising marriage must have a clear nexus with the moment promise of marriage cannot be held out as an inducement for engaging in sex over a protracted and indefinite period of time. In certain cases, a promise to marry may induce a party to agree to establish sexual relations, even though such party does not desire to consent to the same. Such inducement in a given moment may elicit consent, even though the concerned party may want to say no. Such false inducement given with the intention to exploit the other party would constitute an offence. However, it is difficult to accept that continuing with an intimate relationship, which also involves engaging in sexual activity, over a significant period of time, is induced and involuntary, merely on the assertion that the other party has expressed its intention to get married.


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