A Woman’s Body Is Not A Man’s Plaything”: MP HC Quotes SC, Says Sexual Relations On False Marriage Promise Amount To Rape
Sandeep and others vs Neelam and another
Madhya Pradesh HC, Jabalpur Bench
About/from the judgment:
The Madhya Pradesh High Court recently reiterated that establishing sexual relations with a woman on false promise of marriage falls under the definition of rape and refused to quash an FIR filed against a man.
The Court referred to the judgement in the case of State of U.P. v. Naushad, wherein the Supreme Court had observed, “A woman’s body is not a man’s plaything and he cannot take advantage of it in order to satisfy his lust and desires by fooling a woman into consenting to sexual intercourse simply because he wants to indulge in it. The accused in this case has committed the vile act of rape and deserves to be suitably punished for it.”
The court was hearing a petition filed under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, challenging an order passed in July, 2017 by the JMFC under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, directing registration of FIR under Sections 498A and 376 of the Indian Penal Code as well as the Dowry Prohibition Act against the man and his parents.
The duo met at a coaching centre in 2016 while preparing for competitive exams, and fell in love. Their parents then held an engagement ceremony for them, but the question of a marriage ceremony having taken place was in dispute. Nevertheless, the couple then began living like husband and wife.
Subsequently, while the man cleared the competitive exam, the women did not. However, as per her account, his family began demanding Rs. 10 lakh and a car as dowry for performing the marriage. She then approached the authorities with her complaint.
The accused had challenged the FIR on the ground that neither his statement nor a police report was recorded before lodging of the FIR. He had further challenged the prosecutrix’s motive behind filing the complaint.
The court, however, opined that the Magistrate had adequately satisfied himself of the prima facie commission of offence, adding that the impugned order had been passed with “cogent reasons”.
With regard to the offence under Section 376, the court asserted that consent received by fraud was no consent at all, and dismissed the petition, observing, “As regarding the offence registered by the police, it would be appropriate to mention that “consent” for sexual intercourse was obtained by petitioner no.1 inducing the believe to the prosecutrix that the petitioner no.1 would marry her, it seems to be “fraud” that was practised on her or that she was deceived by false assurance. The “consent” so obtained by deceitful means is not a “free consent” and the offence comes within the ambit and ingredients of definition of “rape”.”
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