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Long-Term Sexual Relationship On Pretext Of Marriage Not Rape: Delhi High Court

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The Delhi High Court observed that having sexual intercourse on the false promise of marriage does not amount to rape if the woman involves in physical intimacy over a long period of time. “A promise of marriage cannot be held as an inducement for engaging in sex over a protracted and indefinite period of time,” said Justice Vibhu Bakhru. During the Thursday hearing, the court also quashed a rape case filed by a woman who had been having a physical relationship with a man for months.

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Court argues on consensual intimacy before marriage

Justice Bakhru noted that sexual relationships between two people could be said to be induced on the false pretext of marriage if the woman involves in it temporarily. In some of the cases, “a promise of marriage may induce a party to agree to establish sexual relations, even though the party does not desire to consent to the same. Such inducement in a given moment may elicit consent, even though the concerned party may want to say no.” The high court further added that a false promise to marry with the intention to exploit the other party “may vitiate consent and, thus, constitute an offence of rape under Indian Penal Code section 375,” TOI reported.

But when there is a continuing intimate relationship, “which also involves engaging in sexual activity over a significant period of time,” the same can’t be seen as “involuntary and secured not by affection but only on the lure of marriage,” it observed.

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These observations came during the hearing of a case wherein a woman had challenged the acquittal of a man she had accused of rape. The woman told the court that she had a physical relationship with the accused since 2008. She alleged that he made a promise to marry her and she eloped with him. The woman further alleged that she was raped by the accused which resulted in a pregnancy. According to a report by Hindustan Times, the woman further alleged that the accused forced her to terminate the pregnancy. The court acquitted the man of all charges.

Image Credit: The Indian Express

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