“Live-in Relationship is a By Product of Article 21 Promoting Promiscuity and Lascivious Behavior”: Madhya Pradesh High Court

Live-in relationships, according to the Madhya Pradesh High Court, are labelled to be the result of the constitutional protection guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, as they foster “promiscuity” and “lascivious behaviour,” which leads to sexual offences. In the case of Abhishek Vs State Of Madhya Pradesh (M.Cr.C. No.15851/2022), a 25-year-old man accused of raping a woman with whom he reportedly had a sexual relationship was refused anticipatory bail by Hon’ble Shri Justice Subodh Abhyankar’s bench.

Brief facts of the case: The prosecutrix/victim filed a complaint against the accused-applicant, stating that they were friends and that he summoned her to his room and served her a cold drink, following which she fainted out and he raped her. He apparently shot a video of it as well, and then he allegedly continued to rape her under the fear of going viral with her video. Furthermore, it was claimed that the prosecutrix got pregnant many times and had her pregnancies terminated due to the present applicant’s pressure.

When the prosecutrix’s father proposed suitors to her, the applicant began harassing her parents, uncle, fiancé, and his family with text messages and photos, as well as threatening them that if the prosecutrix married someone else, he would viral her videos and photos. The petitioner petitioned the High Court for anticipatory bail after filing a FIR and being arrested for an offence punishable under Sections 376(2)(N), 328, 313, 506, and 34 of the IPC.

Judgement: The Court noted at the outset that, based on the case diary and the various documents filed by the applicant, it was clear that the prosecutrix and the applicant had been in a live-in relationship for quite some time, and that during this time, the prosecutrix became pregnant more than a couple of times and had to terminate the pregnancy allegedly under the pressure of the present applicant. Accordingly the Court opined that, “The bane of live-in-relationship is a by-product of the Constitutional guarantee as provided under Art.21 of the Constitution, engulfing the ethos of Indian society, and promoting promiscuity and lascivious behaviour, giving further rise to sexual offences”.

The Court judged the applicant’s acts “serious”, believing that the applicant provided the video clips to prevent the prosecutrix’s intended marriage from taking place. The Court stated, “It is not difficult to comprehend how much stress his activities must have caused the prosecutrix, her family members, and others.” In light of this, and given the recent incidence of similar offences stemming from live-in relationships, the Court refused the anticipatory bail plea.



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