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Sex on false promise of marriage not rape, tells Odisha High Court

A woman alleged that a man had promised to marry her and taking advantage of her innocence, established sexual relationship with her and got her pregnant twice.

Published: 23rd May 2020 10:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2020 10:09 AM   |  A+A-

Orissa High Court

Orissa High Court

By Express News Service

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has set aside a lower court order that had not granted bail to a person accused of committing rape as it felt that it was apparently ‘erroneous’ to hold that false promise of marriage-induced sexual intercourse amounts to such crime.

Accused G Achyut Kumar had moved the High Court after the Court of Sessions-cum-Special Judge, Koraput-Jeypore rejected his bail plea. While granting him bail on Thursday, Justice SK Panigrahi said, “The factual matrix of the case is based on a prima facie view based on records as so many aspects of the matter are hungry for a thorough trial and till that time, the benefit of bail deserves to be passed on to the appellant.”

The 19-year-old alleged victim had lodged a complaint against Kumar at Patangi police station in Koraput district. She had alleged that Kumar had promised to marry her and taking advantage of her innocence, established sexual relationship with her and made her pregnant twice. On both the occasions, he had terminated her pregnancy by administering medicine. Acting on it, police had booked him for committing rape under section 376 of IPC.

In his judgment, Justice Panigrahi said holding that false promise to marriage amounts to rape appears to be ‘erroneous’ as the ingredients of rape codified under section 375 of IPC (repeat section 375) do not cover the false promise of marriage-induced sexual intercourse.

Justice Panigrahi said, “The intention of law makers is clear on this issue. The rape laws should not be used to regulate intimate relationships, especially in the cases where women have agency and are entering a relationship by choice.”

“It is also equally disturbing, many of the complaints come from socially disadvantaged and poor segment of the society, rural areas, who are often lured into sex by men on false promises of marriage and then dumped as soon as they get pregnant. The rape law often fails to capture their plight,” the judgment said.



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