New Delhi, December 17: Ruling that a promise of marriage cannot be held out as an inducement for engaging in sex over a protracted and indefinite period of time, the Delhi High Court has dismissed an appeal filed by a woman challenging the acquittal of an accused in a rape case observing that her relationship with the accused was consensual.

A single-judge bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru said inducement to have a physical relationship by promising marriage and the victim falling prey to such inducement may be understandable in the context of the moment.

“A promise of marriage cannot be held out as an inducement for engaging in sex over a protracted and indefinite period of time,” the bench said in its order dated December 15, NDTV reported.

Noting that it did not find any infirmity with the conclusion given by the trial court, the bench said a bare reading of the complaint made by the appellant as well as her testimony clearly indicates that even according to her, her relationship with the accused was consensual.

The bench also ruled the allegation that her consent has been vitiated on account of having been obtained by misrepresentation, is clearly, unsustainable.

“As noted by the trial court, according to her complaint, the appellant woman has stated that she had a physical relationship with the accused in 2008 and after three or four months, thereafter, he had promised to marry her and she had eloped with him,” the bench noted.

“In view of the said statement, her allegation that her consent to engage in sexual activity with the accused, is vitiated, as the same was secured on a promise to get married, is not sustainable,” it said.

The complainant had also alleged that she had conceived on two occasions, however, the accused did not want any children and therefore, had brought medicines, which had led her to abort the pregnancy.

“However, in her cross-examination, she could not recollect the date or the time when such miscarriages had taken place. Concededly, there is no other evidence, which would establish that the appellant had miscarried on being administered any drugs,” the bench said.

“The present appeal is also filed after an inordinate delay of six hundred and forty days. There is no credible explanation for such delay. The only explanation provided is that the accused has once again starting interfering with the complainant’s life and therefore, she seeks to revive her complaint. Clearly, the same presents no ground for condoning such delay,” it added.

The woman had challenged a trial court order dated March 24, 2018, whereby the accused was acquitted of the offences punishable under Section 417 (cheating) and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC). She had in August 2015, filed a complaint in the Malviya Nagar police station in the matter.

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/no-rape-case-if-marriage-promise-not-kept-after-sex-delhi-high-court-2340114

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