Delhi High Court orders rape charges against man who broke promise to woman, her ex-husband that he would marry her

Latest News

The Delhi High Court recently ordered that rape charges be framed against a man who had sexual intercourse with a married woman after he allegedly promised the woman and her then husband that he would marry her after their divorce is finalised [X v State (NCT of Delhi) and Anr].

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma held the allegations in the present case appeared to be a “twin promise of marriage” as the man had not only assured the woman that he would marry her but also assured her then husband the same and also promised to take of her kids from the wedlock with her husband.

“Strangely, as per admitted facts, the respondent no. 2 (accused) had given promise of marriage not only to the petitioner (complainant woman) but also to her then legally married husband and her family that after divorce from him, he will not only marry her, but also look after the children born to her and her then legally married husband,” the judge observed.

The Court noted that the man first promised that he would marry the woman and, acting on this promise, the woman and her husband divorced by mutual consent.

Prima facie, it was on such a promise that the woman engaged in a sexual relationship with the accused, the Court observed.

“It is thus a case of twin promise of marriage, i.e. to the complainant as well as her husband and family. Had he not promised or represented to her, she would not have entered into physical relations with him,” the Court went on to remark.

Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma
It also recorded that the accused had paid for a mangalsutra with the initials of the complainant woman. This also reflects the accused man’s intention and promise to marry the woman, the Court said.

“Needless to say, in India, Mangalsutra for many women is not an ornament but a symbol of love, sacred union and assurance for a lifetime of togetherness with their partner.”

It is to be proved during trial whether it was a breach of promise to marry or false promise to marry to establish a sexual relationship, the Court added.

The Court, therefore, ordered the framing of charges against the accused under Section 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The order was passed on a plea filed by the complainant woman against an order of the trial court discharging the accused.

It was stated the woman and the accused were friends. However, in the year 2011, they got married to different partners. While the woman stayed with her husband in India, the accused settled in Canada with his wife.

In 2016, they came in contact with each other again and by this time both were living in unhappy marriages.

The complainant woman alleged that from the very beginning, after they came in contact with each other again, the accused expressed his desire to marry her and anticipating such a marriage, they established physical relations.

However, it was alleged that the accused later recanted and expressed his preference only for a sexual relationship. On May 20, 2021, he called the woman and said that he could not marry her because their relationship had become toxic.

The woman then filed a complaint against him.

A Sessions Court eventually discharged the accused, opining that it was a case of breach of a promise to marry and not a false promise to marry.

The High Court, however, held that there was sufficient material on record to frame charges against the accused under Sections 376 and 506 of IPC.

“In view thereof, the impugned order dated 08.06.2023 passed by learned Sessions Court by virtue of which the respondent no. 2 was discharged in the present case, is set aside. The learned Sessions Court is directed to frame charge against respondent no. 2 under Sections 376/506 of IPC proceed with the case as per law,” the Court proceeded to order.

The complainant woman was represented by advocates Samridhi Arora, Sanjana and Tanya Singh.

Advocate Shekhar appeared for the accused.

Additional Public Prosecutor Naresh Kumar Chahar represented the State.

Source Link

Leave a Reply