On Refusal To Marry, Consensual Sex Between Live-In Partners Cannot Be Alleged To Be Rape, Says SC
Supreme Court Bench held that consensual sex between live-in partners cannot be termed as rape later if the man fails to marry the woman due to reasons beyond his control. The SC bench comprised of justices AK Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer were delivering their verdict on an FIR filed by a Maharashtra-based nurse on a doctor with whom she was in a live-in relationship.
“Clear distinction between rape & consensual sex”
On November 22, the bench said that there is a clear distinction between rape and consensual sex. The judgement said that if the person had not promised to marry with the only intention of seducing a woman into performing sexual acts, such act would then not amount to rape, as per Livelaw.
This judgement was passed on an appeal filed by the doctor after a High Court order refused to quash the ‘rape case’ filed against him. The bench also noted that the woman in question had confessed she was a widow who needed a companion and had fallen in love with the accused. The bench said that it was clear that both the people were in a relationship and were living together for some time. The problem reportedly started after the man married some other woman. “It is not a case of a passive submission in the face of any psychological pressure exerted and there was a tacit consent and the tacit consent given by her was not the result of a misconception created in her mind,” the bench observed.
The “acknowledged consensual physical relationship” would not be an offence under Section 376 of the IPC, the bench further said.
“In cases of mala fide intention, a clear case of rape”
The SC however also added that in cases where mala fide intention or clandestine motives are detected, then it would be considered to be a clear case of rape.
The SC said that the court in cases like these should examine if the complainant had the intention of marrying the victim or had made false promise in order to satisfy his lust. These cases would then fall under the ambit of cheating or deception.