Sheikh Arif vs State of Maharashtra 2024 INSC 70 – S 375 IPC – Rape By Giving Promise To Marry

Indian Penal Code, 1860; Section 375 –If the victim of the alleged offence of rape is not under 18 years of age, maintaining a sexual relationship with her consent, is not an offence – If the consent of the victim is based on misconception, such consent is immaterial as it is not a voluntary consent. If it is established that from the inception, the consent by the victim is a result of a false promise to marry, there will be no consent, and in such a case, the offence of rape will be made out – Referred to Anurag Soni v. State of Chhattisgarh (2019) 13 SCC 1 :: 2019 INSC 503 :: [2019] 6 S.C.R. 972.

Summary – Physical relationship between the appellant and the second respondent was consensual, at least from 2013 to 2017. The fact that they were engaged was admitted by the second respondent. The fact that in 2011, the appellant proposed her and in 2017, there was engagement is accepted by the second respondent. In fact, she participated in the engagement ceremony without any protest. However, she has denied that her marriage was solemnised with the appellant. Taking the prosecution case as correct, it is not possible to accept that the second respondent maintained a physical relationship only because the appellant had given a promise of marriage. Thus, in our view, the continuation of the prosecution in the present case will be a gross abuse of the process of law – Criminal proceedings quashed.

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