KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has held that a legal marriage between an accused and victim in a rape case is a sufficient ground to quash the case. Justice R Narayana Pisharadi issued the order while quashing a rape case against a man from Pathanamthitta, who later married the victim.
The order stated that if the consent was given by the complainant under the misconception of fact, it was vitiated. Consent given by the girl to sexual intercourse with a person with whom she is deeply in love, on a promise that he would marry her on a later date, cannot be said to be given under a misconception of fact, observed the court.
In this case, the allegation against the accused was that he had made a promise to marry the girl, who consented for sexual intercourse based on that promise. Later the girl filed a complaint alleging rape. In the meantime, the accused married the victim. Both of them had informed the HC they are having a peaceful marital life.
The HC, however, pointed out that in a case where the allegation was that the accused had sexual intercourse with a woman by obtaining her consent by making a promise to marry her and when he subsequently marries her, it does not constitute a compromise between the accused and the victim. It really means fulfilment of the promise made by the accused to the victim.
The promise made by the accused to marry the victim was not a false one made only with the intention to satisfy his lust. This was evident from the fact he married the woman within a short period after the incident. It was a marriage solemnised under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 and not merely a registration of marriage under Section 15 of that Act.
Therefore, the court found what occurred has only acknowledged the consensual physical relationship between the parties. In this factual scenario, prosecution of the petitioner for committing an offence of rape would be an abuse of the process of the court and continuation of the prosecution would cause embarrassment to the couple and create discords in their happy married life, observed the court.
The prosecution of a person for committing an offence punishable under Indian Penal Code section 376 (rape) could not be quashed on the ground that the accused and victim had compromised and settled the case