‘Mature & Intelligent Enough to Understand Consequences of Acts during Subsistence of Marriage’: SC Quashes Rape Case by Woman sattaex.com

Reported By: Sanya Talwar

Last Updated: March 07, 2024, 22:26 IST

Supreme Court. (File photo: PTI)

Even on the dates when the complainant alleges that the parties had physical relations, she was already married, the Supreme Court said

The Supreme Court on March 6 quashed an FIR against a man for repeated rape upon a married woman on a false promise of marriage after divorce, saying she was a mature and grown-up woman who knew the consequences of her moral and immoral acts.

A bench of Justices CT Ravikumar and Rajesh Bindal, after going through the FIR and the statement of the woman recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC, said there was no promise to marry initially when the relations between the parties started in the year 2017.

In any case, even on the dates when the complainant alleges that the parties had physical relations, she was already married, it said. She falsely claimed that divorce from her earlier marriage took place on December 10, 2018, but the fact remains that decree of divorce was passed only on January 13, 2021, the bench noted.

“It is not a case where the complainant was of an immature age who could not foresee her welfare and take right decision. She was a grown up lady about ten years elder to the appellant. She was matured and intelligent enough to understand the consequences of the moral and immoral acts for which she consented during subsistence of her earlier marriage. In fact, it was a case of betraying her husband,” the SC said.

The court allowed an appeal by the man against the Madhya Pradesh High Court’s order declining to quash the FIR lodged on December 11, 2020, under Sections 376(2)(n) and 506 of the IPC with the Mahila Thana in Satna.

The appellant contended that the case was an abuse of the process of law.

It was stated the complainant was a married lady having a daughter of 15 years of age living with her parents. The appellant, who was a tenant in her house, contended that he was alleged to have entered into physical relations with her with the consent of her parents and daughter and this will be hard to believe that too when she was already married. There could not be any question of promise to marry given by the appellant to her at that stage.

There are large discrepancies in the complaint made to the police on the basis of which the FIR was registered, he said.

“The relations between the parties are shown to be consensual, if any. The mis-statement by the complainant is evident from the fact that she claimed to have got divorce from the earlier marriage on December 10, 2018 and married with the appellant in a temple in January 2019 but it is belied from the fact that decree of divorce from the earlier marriage of the complainant was passed only on January 13, 2021. There was no question of any marriage prior thereto,” the appellant said.

The state counsel said after that investigation a charge sheet has already been filed. He said the courts are normally slow to quash the FIR at that stage. In the case at hand, an allegation of rape on false promise to marry is clearly made out.

At the stage of quashing, only the contents in the FIR could be seen, he said.

The complainant’s counsel said she fell in a trap in view of the advances by the appellant due to her disturbed matrimonial life. On a false promise to marry, both had started having physical relations. They had even solemnised marriage in a temple in January 2019. Even her family also knew about their relations and marriage. It was all in good faith on the promise made by the appellant, the complainant said.

The bench, however, cited ‘Naim Ahamed Vs State’ (NCT of Delhi) (2023), saying it squarely covered the issues raised by the appellant.

“On almost identical facts where the prosecutrix herself was already a married woman having three children. The complaint of alleged rape on false promise of marriage was made five years after they had started having relations. She even got pregnant from the loins of the accused. Therein she got divorce from her existing marriage much after the relations between the parties started. This court found that there cannot be any stretch of imagination that the prosecutrix had given her consent for sexual relationship under misconception. The accused was not held to be guilty,” the bench pointed out.

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