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Bombay HC: Charges of Rape Cannot Be Pressed after A Failed Relationship

  • Posted on April 5, 2023
  • News
Bombay HC:-

A learned Bench of the Bombay HC comprising Justice Bharti Dangre, while dealing with an FIR including charges of rape in 2016, Laid down in its judgment that when a relationship naturally fails to develop into a marriage, the woman cannot complain of rape after it is over.

Bombay HC
Bombay HC

The reasoning of The Bombay HC

It is pertinent to understand the reasons behind such a decision by the Bombay HC. The learned Bench decided based on the following observations, “Admittedly, the victim was major when the relationship was established, both emotionally and physically. She was at the age where she is presumed to have sufficient maturity of understanding the consequences of her act, and according to her own version…promise to marry the victim was not the only reason for permitting the applicant to have a sexual indulgence, as according to her own version, she was in love with the applicant.”

When Is The Crime of Rape Said to Have Been Committed?

The offense of rape is downright only when sexual intercourse is completed without the consent of the female partner. The absence of consent must be communicated in some direct or passive form. Special protection has been provided to minors since they cannot form an opinion, and hence, they are not in a position to express dissent. If consent is obtained fraudulently, such an act, too, would amount to rape.

Rape on The False Promise of Marriage

In the case of Deepak Gulati v. State of Haryana, the Supreme Court had clarified that when a man convinced his partner to engage in sexual intercourse by promising to marry her and later do not fulfill his promise, he commits rape. 

For this condition to apply to cases of rape, it is necessary that a very predominant factor for the woman’s decision to engage sexually was the promise regarding marriage in the future.

However, in the present case, the learned Bench of the Bombay HC noted that a promise of marriage was persistent just as people in love regularly vow about having a family in the future.

Nevertheless, the decision to engage in a sexual relationship was taken by the girl in the natural course of time due to increased closeness in the relationship. The intention of the male partner regarding marriage had also remained sincere, but the couple eventually broke up due to compatibility issues. Therefore, the acts of the man Could in no way amount to rape.

Bombay HC
Bombay HC

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