“Met on dating app, not matrimonial”: Delhi High Court grants bail to man booked for rape on pretext of marriage

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday granted bail to a man accused of raping on pretext of marriage a woman he had met on a dating app.  

Justice Vikas Mahajan granted bail to the accused after noting that he and the complainant-woman met on a dating app and not matrimonial app and the text messages exchanged between them did not show that any proposal of marriage was mooted by him.

“It is not in dispute that the complainant and the petitioner met on a dating App “Hinge” and not on a matrimonial App. There has been exchange of numerous WhatsApp messages between them and in none of the messages there is any promise proposal of marriage mooted petitioner,” the Court observed.

The Court also noted that the complainant in her examination-in-chief had revealed that even after she came to know that the petitioner had lied about his educational qualifications, she stayed with him at an Airbnb for four days and had repeated sexual encounters.

“As regard the obscene photographs and videos of the prosecutrix recovered from the mobile phone of the petitioner by FSL, the prosecutrix in her cross examination has admitted that such photographs and videos were taken with her consent. In the aforesaid factual backdrop, prima facie, the sexual intercourse appears to be consensual and there does not seem to be any false promise of marriage or the consent having been obtained on a misconception of any fact,” Justice Mahajan recorded.

The Court was dealing with a plea filed by a man seeking bail in a case where he was booked under Sections 376 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

It was stated the petitioner and complainant met on Hinge and fell in love. While the petitioner initially claimed to have an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur, double masters from UK and New Zealand and PhD from Kings College, London, later it was revealed that he was only a BSc graduate.

The complainant-woman also claimed that she had given nearly ₹1.2 crore to the petitioner for his medical treatment.

The Court considered the arguments and observed that it was the prosecution’s case that the first of ₹25,000 was made to the accused in January 2021 and even though he did not return that money, the woman kept giving him huge sums of money.

“On an overall conspectus of facts and circumstances of the case, the petitioner has made out a case for grant of regular bail. Accordingly, the petitioner is admitted to bail subject to his furnishing a Personal Bond in the sum of ₹25,000 and one surety bond of the like amount,” the Court finally ordered.

Advocates LS Chaudhary and Karanveer Singh appeared for the petitioner.

State was represented through Additional Public Prosecutor Hemant Mehla.

Advocates Vaibhav Dubey, Pradyuman Kaistha and Shubham Jain appeared for the complainant woman.

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