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Cheating By Violation Of Promise to Marry: Plea In SC To Make Section 420 IPC Gender Neutral

Nitish Kashyap
5 Sep 2019 3:08 PM GMT
Cheating By Violation Of Promise to Marry: Plea In SC To Make Section 420 IPC Gender Neutral
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A peculiar special leave petition has been filed before the Supreme court by one Nagaraju K who has sought answers on a few substantial questions of law. Some of the questions are- * 1. Whether the offence defined under section 420 of Indian Penal Code is gender neutral?* 2. Whether the relations founded on the promise of marriage if breached by a woman would amount to Cheating &...

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A peculiar special leave petition has been filed before the Supreme court by one Nagaraju K who has sought answers on a few substantial questions of law.

Some of the questions are-

  • * 1. Whether the offence defined under section 420 of Indian Penal Code is gender neutral?

    * 2. Whether the relations founded on the promise of marriage if breached by a woman would amount to Cheating & Rape?

    * 3. Whether the denial to marry after a long relationship on grounds of inferior caste constitutes an offence?

    * 4. Whether there is a differentiation between gender-identity and sex under the laws of the land?

    The above questions have been asked by the petitioner challenging an order of Karnataka High Court quashing an FIR filed by him in 2016 against a woman.

An FIR under Sections 420 and 506 of Indian Penal Code and also under section 3(1)(X) of SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 was registered against the woman after Nagaraju's complaint.

According to the petition, the woman was the daughter of the lead priest of a temple. The petitioner became friends with her and she proposed to him. Then the petitioner tried to explain to her that they could not get married due he belonged to a Scheduled Caste and she was born upper caste.

However, the woman promised the petitioner that caste would not be a barrier in their marriage. Thereafter, the petition alleges, she "insisted" on having sex with him and despite his protests they started having sexual relations.

Once the respondent got a job in Mysore, her behaviour changed, she started neglecting the petitioner's calls and whenever she spoke to him, she was very rude. According to the petitioner, when he asked her about marriage, she said "we don't even allow you people to clean our toilet of our house". Allegedly, the respondent said that petitioner was not "qualified" to marry her and threatened to get him killed as her father was influential in the area.

After Nagaraju's FIR was registered, woman filed an anticipatory bail application which was rejected by the District judge, who noted that a prima facie case of cheating has been made out. Then the filed her application for quashing before the High Court which was allowed. This order has been challenged in the present SLP.

The petition drawn by Advocate Syed Kamran Ali states as follows-

"That the present petition brings to the fore the inequalities entrenched in criminal jurisprudence which deny the right of justice to one gender on same grounds as the other gender enjoys. The petitioner in present petition seeks justice, reprieve, shelter against the injustice which had caused to him by the hands of the Respondent No.1."

Further,

"The intention behind this petition is to protect the rights of men and women, from being physically violated by another person without their consent. It is stoutly emphasized that once the element of consent is taken out of the dynamics of any physical relationship, any person, regardless of their gender or sex could be subjected to sexual violation or rape by another person." 

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