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When an order granting bail is passed by a lower court, the appellate court must be slow to interfere with such an order: Delhi High Court

In order to establish whether sexual intercourse was committed in the backdrop of a false promise of marriage, it has been held by the Supreme Court that the consent for sexual intercourse which is derived from the prosecutrix must be coerced or misguided, or obtained through deceit as upheld by the High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by Justice Hon’ble Mr. Justice Subramonium Prasad in the case of Bhagyashree @ Monica v. State of N.C.T. Of Delhi & Anr. (CRL.M.C. 2392/2021).

The facts leading to the instant case that the Petitioner met Respondent No.2, in the year 2015 at Invertis University wherein she was pursuing her B.Com. The Petitioner fell in love with Respondent No.2 and they both were in a relationship. On 05.07.2018, when the Petitioner reached Delhi, the Respondent No.2 said to her that he was hungry and they should go to her room to have food, as well as to rest and talk. The Respondent No.2 reached the Petitioner’s flat and, allegedly, he started touching her. The Petitioner questioned Respondent No.2’s actions, and in response to the same, Respondent No.2 stated that he loved the Petitioner, intended to marry her and that after the marriage they would be in such physical relations.. After the sexual intercourse, when the Petitioner started crying and told Respondent No.2 that she would file a police complaint against him, Respondent No.2 threatened to kill her and her mother if she filed a complaint or if she informed anyone. During the course of the relationship between the Petitioner and Respondent No.2, it has been stated that Respondent No.2 visited her flat many times, and despite her refusal, he would have sexual intercourse with her. It is also stated that whenever the Petitioner would bring up the prospect of marriage, Respondent No.2 would counter the same with some excuse.  On 13.02.2020, Respondent No.2 visited the flat of the Petitioner and had sexual intercourse with her against her wishes, and Respondent No.2 left the flat informing the Petitioner that he would be going home in order to speak to his family about their marriage. Thereafter, whenever the Petitioner sought to speak to Respondent No.2 over the phone regarding their marriage, he would deflect the topic by making excuses. It has been alleged by the Petitioner that Respondent No.2 has completely ruined the petitioner’s life because of his false promise to marry on the basis of which he had sexual intercourse with her multiple times. On the said complaint, the instant FIR was registered against Respondent No.2 herein. The Respondent No.2 was arrested by the concerned I.O. Consequently, Respondent No.2 filed an application for regular bail before the learned Additional Sessions Judge and the same was rejected. Thereafter, Respondent No.2  approached this Hon’ble Court for grant of regular bail. On 09.07.2021, Respondent No.2 filed another application for grant of regular bail and was granted interim bail by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, with the application for regular bail being listed.

After the perusal of the facts and arguments by the respective sides, the Hon’ble Court held, “In the instant case, whether the consent which was obtained from the Petitioner herein was under the misconception of a false promise of marriage can only be discerned during the trial itself. The learned Additional Sessions Judge has considered all the material on record and the impugned Order dated 18.08.2021 granting regular bail to Respondent No.2 is based on cogent reasoning. This Court does not find any infirmity in the Order passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge and is, therefore, of the opinion that there is no reason to interfere in the same. The petition is dismissed with the above observations along with pending application(s), if any.”

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Judgment reviewed by Vandana Ragwani

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