False Marriage Promise Must Be Directly Related To Woman’s Decision To Engage In Sexual Act To Attract Rape Offense: Karnataka High Court  


The Karnataka High Court ruled on 22nd June 2022 that a false promise of marriage must be of immediate significance or have a clear nexus to the woman’s decision to engage in the sexual act in order to establish the offence of rape, through the single bench of Justice Hemant Chandangoudar in the case of Shivu @ Shiv Kumar v. State of Karnataka & ANR (Criminal Petition No 3596/2018)



In the present case, the petitioner had filed a Criminal Petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and prayed to quash the case pending under offences punishable under Sections 417, 376, 313, 341, 354, 509, 506 read with Section 34 of IPC and Section 3(1)(xi) of SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.


The complainant alleged that two years prior to the filing of the FIR, the petitioner-accused No.1 and CW1 were in love and that the accused No.1 forcibly had sexual intercourse with CW1 and that when she became pregnant, the petitioner-accused No.1 forced her for abortion. Furthermore, it was alleged that after having sexual intercourse with CW1 3 to 4 times, the petitioner – accused No.1 began to avoid her following which she attempted suicide on 22.7.2017. CW1 did not file an FIR against the petitioner – accused No.1 since he came to the hospital and offered to marry her. After that, his friends, i.e. the other accused, threatened her and outraged her modesty. Following an investigation, the police filed a charge sheet for the aforementioned offences.


The bench cited the Supreme Court’s judgement of Sonu @ Subhash Kumar v. State of Uttar Pradesh and another [2021 SCC Online SC 181], in which it was held that in the absence of an allegation that the promise to marry was false at the outset, the false promise itself must be of immediate relevance or bear a direct nexus to the woman’s decision to engage in the sexual act.




The court observed that there were no allegations in the present case that the promise made to the second respondent was dishonest from the beginning. The charge sheet material does not reveal that the petitioner offended the victim’s modesty by using force or assaulting her, which is an offence punishable under Section 3(1)(xi) of the Atrocities Act. As a result, in the lack of any essential ingredients to create the offences charged against the petitioner-accused No.1, the filing of a charge sheet against the petitioner-accused No.1 is meaningless.

Accordingly, the criminal petition application was allowed.


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