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Sex on the false promise of marriage does not mean rape: Orissa HC

23/05/2020 at 6:44 PM

Cuttack, May 23: Having sex on the false promise of marriage does not mean rape. This landmark judgement was delivered by the Orissa High Court judge Justice SK Panigrahi

Justice Panigrahi ruled this while disposing a petition on Thursday challenging a lower court order which had dismissed the bail petition of a rape accused in December last year.

The accused was arrested under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code on the charge of raping a 19 year-old girl on the false pretext of marrying her and impregnating her in the process. The alleged victim had lodged the complaint in Patangi police station in Koraput district on November 27, 2019.

The accused was lodged in judicial custody after the Court of Sessions-cum-Special Judge, Koraput -Jeypore dismissed his bail petition on December 11, 2019.

However, rejecting the lower court order, the Orissa High Court judge stated that having physical relation on the false promise of marriage does not fall under the definition of rape. It is not covered under the seven ingredients of rape as defined in Section 375 of IPC, he said.

Stating that the case needs to have a serious relook, Justice Panigrahi noted, “The rape laws should not be used to regulate intimate relationships and especially in cases where women have agency and are entering a relationship by choice.”

 “It is also equally disturbing that many of the complaints come from the socially disadvantaged and the poor segments of the society and rural areas where women are often lured into sex by men on false promise of marriage and then dumped as they get pregnant. The rape law often fails to capture their plight”, he added.

 

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