Failure to fulfil promise of marriage does not mean promise was false

Failure to fulfil promise of marriage does not mean promise was false

Gulab Vs State Of Maharashtra

Bombay HC

18/01/2022

CRIMINAL APPLICATION (ABA) NO. 21 OF 2022

About/from the judgment:

The High Court recently granted anticipatory bail to a man accused of raping a woman on the pretext of marrying her.

The Court said that a failure to fulfill promise of marriage did not mean that the promise itself was false.

The Court observed that consent between parties for sexual relations was not simply based on promise to marry but it was a consensual relationship.

"There is no allegation in the First Information Report that when applicant promised to marry the complainant, it was done in bad faith and intention to decisive her. The said fact is established from the long standing physical relationship between the parties. The applicant’s failure to fulfill his promise to marry cannot be construed to mean, the promise itself was false," the Court said.

The applicant, Gulab Meshram, had allegedly promised to marry the complainant woman and engaged in sexual relations with her for about four years before expressing his disinclination to marry her.

The woman, upon finding out about Meshram's disinclination, lodged a complaint against him and a first information report (FIR) was registered under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.

Upon being booked, Meshram filed an application for a anticipatory bail.

After examining the contents in the FIR, Justice SP Tavade noted that it did not prima facie indicate that the promise by applicant was false or that the complainant engaged in sexual relations on the basis of this promise.

"There is no allegation in FIR that when applicant promised to marry the complainant, it was done in bad faith and intention to deceive her, which is established from the long standing physical relationship between the parties. The applicant’s failure to fulfill his promise to marry cannot be construed to mean, the promise itself was false," the order recorded.

Meshram stated in his application that he had never promised marriage to the complainant.

Meshram, contended that the couple was in a relationship for a long period and the applicant never had sexual relation on the pretext of promise of marriage. In fact, applicant never gave any sort of promise to complainant, it was argued.

From the evidence placed before it, the Court observed that though there may have been a promise of marriage between the parties, the long-standing physical relationship pointed towards a consensual relationship.

"I am of the opinion that there is material on record to hold that the consent given by complainant for sexual relations with applicant was not simply based on promise to marriage. They had the consensual relationship," Justice Tavade stated in the order holding that applicant was entitled for pre-arrest bail.

Having observed so, the Court directed that in the event of arrest, the applicant could be released on bail upon furnishing bail bond of ₹15,000 and to report to the concerned Police Station every day for three weeks.

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