Consent given under false promise of marriage is similar to consent u/s 90 of IPC: High Court of Orissa

If an accused from the very beginning of the relationship has made a promise of marriage without any intention to fulfil that promise and in place of such assurance that the accused would marry her, she gave her permission for sexual intercourse with the accused, then that consent does not amount to true consent. It shall fall within the ambit of the misunderstanding of reality. This auspicious judgment was passed by the High Court of Orissa in the matter of Rinku Pradhan vs State of Odisha and another. [BLAPL/6629/2020] by Honourable Justice S.K. PANIGRAHI.

The petitioner has filed the “instant application under Section 439 of Cr. P.C. seeking bail in connection with alleged commission of offences punishable under Sections 376(1)/313/294/506 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 66(E) and 67(A) of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008”.

The petitioner met with the claimant at the relative’s house and later reached her by telephone and tricked her into love with him. They formed an intimate friendship and the petitioner maintained a physical tie to her promising marriage. The plaintiff was pregnant twice due to an intimate arrangement, which was aborted by the petitioner after he gave her medication. The claimant requested the petitioner to marry her on 22.01.2020, but then he refused to let the families of the plaintiff meet the family members of the petitioner to get their permission for such a wedding. But they still rejected the invitation for marriage. The family of the claimant fixed her marriage elsewhere with no solution. The petitioner, however, posted the complainant’s images alongside his subtitle claiming that the complainant’s character was not decent. The petitioner further mentioned that the complainant had a relationship with him but was marrying someone else. 

This led to a breakdown in the marriage of the claimant and its defamation of society. The petitioner has even threatened to viral lewd Facebook images and to abduct and execute her. 

Relying on the Anurag Soni vs. the State of Chhattisgarh, the court stated that “if an accused from the very beginning has given a promise of marriage without any intention to fulfil that promise and in lieu of such promise that the accused will marry her, she gave her consent for sexual intercourse with the accused, then such consent would not amount to valid consent. It shall come within the ambit of the misconception of fact under Section 90 of IPC. Thus, such consent shall not excuse the accused from the charges for the offence of rape under Section 375 of IPC.”

While dismissing the petition court further stated with regards to Sections 66A and 69A of the IT Act “that Information that may be grossly offensive or which causes annoyance or inconvenience are undefined terms which take into the net a very large amount of protected and innocent speech.” 

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