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Not necessary that every breach of promise to marry is false promise: Supreme Court acquits rape convict

The Supreme Court held that there was a fallacy on the part of the courts below to hold the appellant guilty under Section 376 IPC.

The Court at the very outset proceeded to distinguish between giving a false promise and committing breach of promise.

It stated that in false promise, the appellant-accused right from the beginning would not have had any intention to marry the prosecutrix and would have cheated or deceived the prosecutrix by giving a false promise to marry her only with a view to satisfy his lust.

In case of breach of promise, one cannot deny a possibility that the accused-appellant might have given a promise with all seriousness to marry her, and subsequently might have encountered certain circumstances which prevented him to fulfill his promise.

In this backdrop, the Court observed that in the present case, the woman was aware of what she was doing and yet betrayed her husband and three children by entering into a relationship with the accused.

“The prosecutrix being a married woman and the mother of three children was matured and intelligent enough to understand the significance and the consequences of the moral or immoral quality of act she was consenting to. Even otherwise, if her entire conduct during the course of such relationship with the accused, is closely seen, it appears that she had betrayed her husband and three children by having relationship with the accused, for whom she had developed liking for him. She had gone to stay with him during the subsistence of her marriage with her husband, to live a better life with the accused,” the Court noted.

The Court also noted that till the time prosecutrix was impregnated by the accused in the year 2011 and gave birth to his child, she did not have any complaint against the accused-appellant of cheating her.

However, it was only in 2015 that she filed a complaint against the appellant which in itself seemed doubtful.

While setting aside the conviction of the accused-appellant, the Court observed:

“Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, it could not be said by any stretch of imagination that the prosecutrix had given her consent for the sexual relationship with the appellant under the misconception of fact, so as to hold the appellant guilty of having committed rape within the meaning of Section 375 of IPC. In that view of the matter, the accused deserves to be acquitted from the charges levelled against him.”

The appellant was, therefore, acquitted.

Source: Barandbench

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