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Whether Sexual Intercourse On The False Promise Of Marriage Is Rape Or Not?

Rape may also be decided to commit through undue influence, fraud, or cheating. Consent is a fundamental factor in the crime of rape. The absence or presence of it tends to make sexual intercourse legal or illegal. Consent can be implicit or explicit, coerced or misguided, or obtained willingly or by deception. In India, obtaining consent for sexual intercourse by making a false promise of marriage can result in a rape conviction.

Thus, consent for sexual activity acquired through a false promise of marriage is not turned away from the charge of rape. If a man promises to marry a woman but has no intention of marrying her, the woman gives consent for sexual intercourse on the basis of "misconception of fact" under Section 90 of the IPC, and such consent cannot be relieved for the accused, who has done a serious offense.

Indian courts had also begun to adopt a new approach to Section 375, interpreting the term "consent" in a broader context. Several court decisions had already explained 'consent,' which infringes certain fundamental principles of statutory interpretation. In some cases, courts ruled that a man cannot be booked under Section 375 if he fails to marry a woman even after making a promise. To grip an accused guilty under Section 375 of the IPC, a harsh viewpoint of statutes is required.

Meaning of Consent in IPC
Section 90 of the Indian Penal Code defines the term for the purpose of this code and it says that Consent is known to be given under fear or misconception.A consent is not such a consent as it intended by any section of this Code, if the consent given by a person under fear of injury, or under a misconception of fact, and if the person doing the act knows, or has reason to believe, that the consent was given in consequence of such fear or misconception; or Consent of insane person.

If the consent is given by a person who, from unsoundness of mind, or intoxication, is unable to understand the nature and consequence of that to which he gives his consent; or Consent of child. unless the contrary appears from the context if the consent is given by a person who is under twelve years of age.

Hence, if permission is granted by the girl under a false promise of marriage, it cannot be described as free, and therefore consent under a false promise of marriage is not consent, consent acquired in constructing a sexual relationship such as husband and wife under false promise to marry is no consent under the law if the boy's intention had never been to marry the girl since the inception of the consent and was merely acquired for the intent of physical exploitation of the girl. However, if the physical relationship was encountered by the girl's free consent, it cannot be considered rape or the false pretext of getting married.

Deepak Gulati vs. the State of Haryana, The Supreme Court of India ruled that sex based on a false promise of marriage can be called rape. The Supreme Court stated that there is a clear line between both rape and consensual sex and that the court should carefully review whether an accused truly desired to marry the accused or had malicious intentions.

If the accused made a false promise solely to satisfy his sexual desire, it would be considered cheating or deception, and there is a distinction between simply breaking a promise and failing to fulfill a false promise. The court also stated that it needs to be determined if the promise was made early on and if the consent involved was granted after fully comprehending the nature and consequences of sexual pleasure.

However, the court emphasized that in some cases, when the prosecutrix agrees to have sexual relations with the accused because of her love and affection for him, rather than because of a misrepresentation made to her the accused, the scenario does not necessarily lead to rape, and the court should then recognize other evidence in addition for support.

Similarly, if an accused was not able to marry her due to unavoidable circumstances he could not have predicted or that were beyond his control, despite it having every intention of doing so, the case should be treated differently and can't be called rape if the other evidence available does not justify otherwise.

Seeing the current position of the law, the courts must be extra careful and careful in determining whether the boy's primary intent was to marry or not from the beginning or simply to satisfy his lust.

The court needs to consider if the boy wanted to introduce the girl to his family, was announcing the girl as her would-be wife to his friends, and brought her mangalsutra or all the realistic measures taken by a boy to demonstrate his clear and honest commitment, but if he could not marry because of circumstances beyond the boy's control, that doesn't amount to rape.

The court considers the following factors in deciding cases of rape by a false promise of marriage.
  1. Intention of the Accused from the initial stage
    The offense is successful only after the accused seemed to have no desire or intention to marry the prosecutrix from the initial stage. A rape conviction is the simple consequence of a person being made to have sex. The consent gained for search activities involving sexual intercourse is influenced by fraud and is regarded as invalid. Whenever a promise of marriage will be used to induce a woman into bed for the purpose of satisfying sexual desire, the accused is not allowed to go free.

    His actions after being confronted by the prosecutrix to keep his promise reflect the dishonesty in his intention. Frequently, the accused either refuses to marry outright or flees after providing additional assurances. Disrespecting the woman immediately after learning of her pregnancy is also not uncommon. Such lawful, as well as pragmatic matters, also assist in deciding whether such an accused's objectives seem to be malicious.

    The concern of compatibility is the most important. In these kinds of cases, it is very likely that the promise was made with honest hearts, however, the accused realizes during the course of his relationship that perhaps the marriage will mess up sometime in the future due to incompatibility between both the two.

    The Telangana High Court addressed this problem in Safdar Abbas Zaidi v State of Telangana. The court recognise that a party has the option to end a relationship because of physical, emotional, or psychological incompatibility. They cannot be forced to marry simply because they've been in a physical relationship in these kinds of cases.

    A sexual encounter can decline over time because there is a lack of emotional or physical comfort between the partners. Marriage cannot be foisted on either party in this type of case because it is a personal choice depending on an individuals personal understandings of suitability.
     
  2. Character of the Prosecutrix
    A woman's age and education are thought to be critically important in determining not just the guilt of the accused as well as the voluntariness of the prosecutrix in these kinds of acts. A major and educated woman is expected to understand the aspects and characteristics of the act, and thus her involvement in sexual activity should not be regarded as entirely acquired through deception.

    She should be aware of the ramifications of having extramarital affairs. She is presumed to be of sufficient intelligence to judge the morality of the act, and her consent on a promise of marriage is handed only after careful consideration of the upsides and downsides of having sexual relations before marriage. Her age and education level allows her to comprehend the consequences of the act and thus play an important role in justifying the accused's actions.

    Courts in India had already ruled that when a sexually grown woman willingly submits to sex before marriage and takes part in it on a regular basis, it demonstrates a sexual desire on her part, and the promise seems to have no great influence on her consent. She at will and consensually gives consent to sexual contact because she desires it. She desires a sense of satisfaction almost as much as the accused and hence plays an appropriate part in the act.
     
  3. The Materiality of the promise in her consent
    Natural love and affection can even lead to consent for sexual activity. The commitment might or might not be relevant to her consent. The presence of evidence proving that had there been no promise of marriage, she would not have consented becomes a requirement for establishing the offense.

    In several cases, the accused might well never have the knowledge or reason to believe that the consent was simply a result of her trust in his promise. He may be absolutely convinced that her consent was the result of her enduring love for him. In these kinds of cases, the courts rule against the establishment of rape. Courts must believe victims regarding consent. As stated in the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, the Indian judiciary must agree that perhaps the survivors didn't consent if she deposes to this.

    Whenever a man has a sexual encounter with a woman and it has been proven that it happened without her consent, and she states in her evidence before the court that she did not consent, the court shall presume that she did not consent to sexual intercourse. The term "presumption" was added to the Indian Evidence Act in response to horrific acts committed against women.

    If the man assures her that he will marry her and continues to satisfy his lust until she becomes pregnant, it is clear that the man does not wish to marry her. Women submit to the lust of men under the mistaken belief that they will marry them. Thus, the sexual encounter constructed under this is not regarded as consensual sex so this amount to rape.

Judicial Pronouncements
Prior to 2003, various High Courts agreed that sex under the guise of unintentional marriage wasn't an offense of rape! In Jayanti Rani Panda vs. State of West Bengal and Ors., the Calcutta Court Observed that consent of a full-grown girl to consensual sex on the marriage promise cannot be considered as influenced by misunderstanding. In Mir Wali Mohammad vs. The State of Bihar, it was determined that consent acquired based on a misunderstanding of facts is not consent.

In Arak SK. Vs. State of West Bengal, it was ruled that the accused's act of withdrawing the girl he promised to marry as she became pregnant was highly morally repugnant; even so, this kind of action did not lead to a basis for sticking the accused guilty of charges of rape.

In the case of Uday vs. the State of Karnataka, in 2003. A 19-year-old girl became fascinated with and established a sexual relationship with a 21-year-old man. The Man stated that he wished to marry her. He continued to insure her even after she became pregnant. When the pregnancy became public, the relationship between the two families were becoming intense. The girl filed rape allegations against the man because he refused to marry her.

Trail and the High Court both declared that such consent to sexual relations with the alleged victim was acquired by ruse and deception because the alleged victim induced her to consent to the commitment that he'd marry with her. For the first time, the Court determined whether such a woman's consent in the false promise to marry amounted to rape. The Supreme Court ruled that sexual intercourse under the guise of a false promise of marriage comprises rape if either of the two conditions is met.
  • Was obtained based on a misunderstanding of the facts.
  • It must be proven that the person who acquired the consent believed or had reason to believe that the consent was given as a result of such misunderstanding.

In the case of Yedla Srinivasa Rao vs the State of Andhra Pradesh, The Supreme Court determined that the accused's actual intent was malicious from the start, and moreover he gave a false promise of marriage to her and continued to promise until she became pregnant. This type of consent cannot be called consent because the victim was under the impression that the Accused would marry her and thus agreed to have sexual relations with the accused.

The type of consent obtained by the accused with the clear objective of not fulfilling the promise and having sexual relations while trying to make her agree that he'd marry her and obtaining her consent underneath a complete misunderstanding cannot be considered consent.

In the case of Naushad vs the State of Uttar Pradesh, The accused Naushad was involved in an affair with a prosecutrix for the past two years, with the expectation that he'd marry her. On this convenient excuse, the accused Naushad promised to marry the prosecutrix and also had frequent sexual relations with her. Naushad was seduced and duped her. She has been raped and became pregnant. The Supreme Court ruled that the accused was the victim of a breach of trust by failing to marry her and sentenced her to rape on the grounds of sexual activity under the guise of false marriage. The court also stated that the accused acquired the consent under section 90 of the IPC under the mistaken belief that he might marry her.

In the case of Anurag Soni vs State of Chhattisgarh, The prosecutrix was doing her pharmacy at the time of the incident. The appellant worked as a junior doctor in a government hospital. The accused proposed marriage to the prosecutrix and had sexual relations with her. Accused at first strongly opposed to engage in sexual activity but agreed with the promise of marriage. Afterward, it was clarified that he had previously planned to marry another girl, which was recognized to his family too.

He continued to keep the prosecutrix in the dark about his plans to marry another girl. Thus, the court determined that based on the information, the accused seemed to have no goal of marrying the prosecutrix from the start, and he knowingly made a false promise to her in exchange for her consent to have a physical relationship with her. As a result, because her consent seems to have been based on a misunderstanding of the facts under Section 90, her consent will be declared null and void. So, the accused was convicted of rape under Section 375 of the IPC and sentenced under section 376 of the IPC.

In the case of Rahul Subhash Patil vs the State of Maharashtra, Rahul and Seema have been together since 1999. They were physically involved since 2006. Seema attempted suicide in 2009 because Rahul told her that "he could not marry her" and they continued to have a physical relationship despite this incident. Having promised to marry Seema, Rahul was in a relationship with another girl. He stated that he might not marry her because they are of different religions.

Seema announced herself pregnant and claimed Rahul as a father of child. The Bombay High Court ruled that Rahul is not liable for rape because there is a consensual sexual encounter between both the same and Rahul even after she comes to know that Rahul is unable to marry her.

In its most remarkable court decision of 2014, the court stated that every breach of promise for marriage is not rape and that pre-marital sexual intercourse is no longer stock, particularly in large cities. The court also stated that it is expected from educated girls who understand their physical needs and the impacts of sexual relationships and must be tested to determine whether their decision to engage in a physical relationship with an individual is conscious or not.

Three Conclusions Can Be Drawn From The Preceding Judgements:
  • For Valid Consent, it must be demonstrated that the Female willfully participated in sexual activity and gave her consent by voluntarily exercising her mind.
  • If it is determined that the accused's promise to marry and intention were fraudulent from the start, the sexual intercourse will be called rape.
  • Finally, if it is determined that the intention was not fraudulent and that the accused has been unable to marry because of uncontrollable situations, it will not be called rape.
Conclusion
Victims of rape suffer long-term consequences. It gives a long-lasting impact on the victims' lives and it is a crime against society as a whole. Even so, in just about all situations, the victim's family feels the pain of sexual violence as well. Sexual violence victims face a variety of physical, emotional, and social issues.

If the accused gave a false promise to the victim that he'd marry her and acquired her consent for consensual sex, and if the accused acted with mala fide intent, the man should be convicted of rape. If this is not done, immoral and dishonest people will exploit the girls by luring them with a false promise of marriage and obtaining their consent for sexual intercourse, only to refuse to marry them later because they believe the law is on their side and they can easily escape with their misdeeds.

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