Question: Promise of Marriage | Sumitra and Sanjay were childhood friends in the native village. Though they belonged to different castes, there developed an understanding between the two that once Sanjay got a job in the city, they would get married. On the basis of this understanding, they cohabited with each other several times. However, when Sanjay moved to… Read More »

Question: Promise of Marriage | Sumitra and Sanjay were childhood friends in the native village. Though they belonged to different castes, there developed an understanding between the two that once Sanjay got a job in the city, they would get married. On the basis of this understanding, they cohabited with each other several times. However, when Sanjay moved to Chandigarh and got a good job, he fell in love with one of his female colleagues. Soon thereafter Sanjay started avoiding Sumitra...

Question: Promise of Marriage | Sumitra and Sanjay were childhood friends in the native village. Though they belonged to different castes, there developed an understanding between the two that once Sanjay got a job in the city, they would get married. On the basis of this understanding, they cohabited with each other several times. However, when Sanjay moved to Chandigarh and got a good job, he fell in love with one of his female colleagues.

Soon thereafter Sanjay started avoiding Sumitra and finally refused to marry her. Shocked by the change in Sanjay’s attitude towards her, Sumitra files a criminal complaint alleging that she had been raped by Sanjay a number of, times. Sanjay pleads that the sexual relationship was with the consent of Sumitra and, therefore, he has committed no offence. Decided in the light of recent amendments) under the relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code. [H.R.J.S.2015]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. Promise of Marriage | [Sumitra and Sanjay were childhood friends in the native village. Though they belonged to different castes, there developed an understanding. On the basis of this understanding, they cohabited with each other several times… Decide in the light of recent amendments under the relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code.]

Answer

Sexual intercourse with a girl above sixteen years, who voluntarily agrees to sexual intercourse on assurance of marriage, does not amount to rape. However, consent for sexual intercourse obtained by a false promise to marry is not true consent. A deliberate representation by the accused with a view to eliciting the assent of his victim without having any intention or inclination to marry her vitiates the consent.

However, if a full-grown girl consents to the act of sexual intercourse on a promise of marriage and continues to indulge in such activity until she becomes pregnant, it is an act of promiscuity on her part and not an act induced by misconception of fact.

Section 90 of the IPC which defines consent cannot be put in service to pardon the act of the girl and fasten criminal liability on the perpetrator unless the court can be assured that from the very inception the accused never really intended to marry her. Consent given by the prosecutrix 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.

Hence, consent for sexual intercourse induced by the promise of marriage is not true consent, if it is proved that the accused from the very inception of making the promise had no intention to marry her. If his promise to marry is not false and has not been made with the sole intention to seduce the prosecutrix to indulge in sexual acts, the sexual acts premised on such consent do not amount to non-consensual.

It is to be noted that consensual sexual intercourse without any assurance of marriage does not amount to rape. Mere breach of promise to marry without mala fide intention, however, does not amount to deception. Therefore, in the present case, a plea of Sanjay that the sexual relationship was with the consent of Sumitra shall sustain and, therefore, he has committed no offence.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

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Updated On 2021-08-28T06:31:40+05:30
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