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The consent of a woman with respect to Section 375 must involve an active and reasoned deliberation towards the proposed act: High Court of Delhi

The court must very carefully examine whether the accused had actually wanted to marry the victim, or had mala fide motives, and had made a false promise to this effect only to satisfy his lust, as the latter falls within the ambit of cheating or deception. Thus, the court must examine whether there was a false promise made at an early stage by the accused; and whether the consent involved was given after wholly understanding the nature and consequences of sexual indulgence and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by JUSTICE SUBRAMONIUM PRASAD in the case of CAPT SIMRANJIT SINGH SAMBHI vs. STATE (NCT OF DELHI) AND ANR. [CRL.M.C. 2960/2021] on 07.03.2022.

The facts of the case are that the complainant addressed a complaint to the S.H.O, wherein, it was stated therein that she was in a relationship with the Petitioner for three years and when she was told by the Petitioner that he was a divorcee the complainant was shocked. It was stated that the Petitioner had promised to marry her while he was in a relationship with someone else. It was stated that the Petitioner went to her house and abused and assaulted her. It was further stated that the Petitioner called the complainant to his house to settle the issue of marriage with her and on reaching the house the complainant was stopped from entering the house and he threatened her with dire consequences. The Petitioner’s brother-in-law outraged her modesty and his uncle touched her inappropriately and she, fearing for her safety, escaped from there.

The respondent’s counsel submitted that the matter had been compromised amicably and stated that the complainant has no objection to quash FIR against the Petitioner. The High Court shall not exercise their plenary powers under Section 482 CrPC to quash heinous offences such as rape, murder, dacoity etc. that are essentially crimes against the society and not merely an individual.

The petitioner’s counsel submitted that the Petitioner and Complainant were in a long-term relationship of four years which turned sour and the Petitioner was being falsely implicated in the matter. It was contended that the complainant had previously filed a written complaint to the S.H.O. Tilak Nagar stating that the Petitioner had promised to marry her and assaulted her and that the said complaint was retracted by her stating that she had harmoniously resolved her issue with the Petitioner.

The Court was of the opinion that it is fit for this Court to exercise its power under Section 482 CrPC to quash the present FIR. The Court observed that, “There is a clear distinction between rape and consensual sex. The court must very carefully examine whether the accused had actually wanted to marry the victim, or had mala fide motives, and had made a false promise to this effect only to satisfy his lust, as the latter falls within the ambit of cheating or deception. Thus, the court must examine whether there was a false promise made at an early stage by the accused; and whether the consent involved was given after wholly understanding the nature and consequences of sexual indulgence.”

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Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

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