Published On: Thu, Apr 27th, 2023

Consensual relationship on marriage promise not rape: Calcutta HC

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court, in a judgement on a 14-year-old case, has ruled that consensual physical relationship between two adults on a genuine promise of marriage, which could not be fulfilled, cannot be deemed to be rape.

Often charges of rape are made because of complications in relationships

A single-judge bench of Justice Shampa Dutta (Paul) observed that often charges of rape are made because of complications in relationships.

The judgement came on a case filed in 2009 at Dankuni in Hooghly district of West Bengal. A marriage was fixed between a boy and girl by their respective families, following which the two started meeting frequently and also became physically intimate.

But in the meantime, the boy got shifted to Goa for professional reasons and there he got married to another girl. Thereafter the girl with whom he had sexual relations and her family members filed against him at a local police station accusing of rape in pretext of marriage.

The police started a case against the entire family under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code and even arrested the father of the youth. He however approached the Calcutta HC in 2009, challenging the FIR.

The petitioner’s counsel argued in the court that the matter cannot be deemed as rape since both were consenting adults. He also argued that because of consenting physical relationship, the family members of the youth cannot be charged under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.

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