The present research indicates, a question frequently arised in court as to whether sexual intercourse with women constitutes rape if consent was obtained through a false promise of marriage under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Rape was considered a crime in India, and offenders were punished. Because there is a sense of juvenile freedom in certain parts of the world, the word Marriage may have acquired a very negative aura around it. Marriage is viewed as a holy bond between two people that transcends all physical, emotional, and spiritual barriers. But at the same time on a different note, it is viewed negatively by young people in some societies. You are against it when you are young because your physical body is in a certain mode. Marriage appears to be a bond and a chain. Different religions and cultures treat marriage in a way their holy book prescribes it. Although the determining factor varies from case to case, the Indian Judiciary has recognized marriage through deception as a crime of rape.
DOES IT AMOUNT TO RAPE – ?
The main difference is consensual sex and non -consensual sex. The broadness of consensual sex has to determined on one of many grounds, whether it falls within the ambit or not. i.e. false promise to matrimony. Consensual sex is defined as sexual activity between the parties that is permitted by both of them. When a man engages in sexual activity with a woman against her will and without her consent, it is called rape.
In the modern world, where couples and cohabitation are common, particularly in urban areas, and are also tolerated by society, also when the mind of the adult is twice grown as the age at present can be said sex is no longer seen as taboo. Consensual sexual liaisons between two men and women are now perceived as a liberating act rather than a sin in today’s evolving environment. As a result, a distinction between consenting sexual activity and rape has been made in some instances, especially where there is a high risk of abuse.
In one instance (Saleha Khatoon v. State of Bihar, 1988), the prosecution procured consent for sexual activity in return for a fictitious promise of marriage. Following the filing of a complaint, a police investigation was conducted, and the police report, which was submitted in accordance with Section 173 of the Criminal Procedure Code, established a case of violation under Section 376 of the IPC.
However, the judge tried the defendant under Section 498 for detaining a married woman rather than Section 376 for rape, most likely because the prosecutor was already married
Obtaining consent through deception, deception, or unsuitable persuasion is another method of Rape. Consent is crucial when committing rape. Depending on whether or not consent has been given, sexual activity is either legal or illegal.
Consent may be given voluntarily or fraudulently, compelled or uninformed, implicit or explicit, informed or uninformed. A violation of Indian law is having a sexual relationship while being falsely promised marriage. Soliciting sexual consent under the guise of marriage does not exonerate a person from rape accusations. If a man makes a woman a false promise that he will marry her so they can have a sexual relationship even though he has no intention of doing so, and she accepts the promise, then the consent was obtained fraudulently.\
SECTION 375 & 90 OF IPC DEFINE RAPE AND CONSENT
- Rape.—A man is said to commit “rape” who, except in the case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the six following descriptions:—
(First) — Against her will.
(Secondly) —Without her consent.
(Thirdly) — With her consent, when her consent has been obtained by putting her or any person in whom she is interested in fear of death or of hurt.
(Fourthly) —With her consent, when the man knows that he is not her husband, and that her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be lawfully married.
(Fifthly) — With her consent, when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent.
(Sixthly) — With or without her consent, when she is under sixteen years of age. Explanation.—Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offense of rape.
(Exception) —Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.] STATE AMENDMENT
Section 90 defines the situations in which the consent apparently to be given by a person is not sufficient for purposes of the Code. It was suggested that consent obtained from a person by putting him under hypnotic or other occult influence should be specifically mentioned in the section. 
JUDICIAL ANALYSIS –
In numerous cases, the Supreme Court of India has explained the distinction between a promise and a false promise and breaking it.
In the case of Naushad (State of Uttar Pradesh v. Naushad, 2013), the defendant had been seeing the prosecutor for the previous two years and had thought that he would marry her. On the basis of this assurance, the defendant Naushad vowed to wed the victim and frequently engaged in physical contact with her.She was raped, and as a result, she got pregnant.
The defendant was found guilty of betraying her trust by refusing to wed her and given a life sentence for raping her while pretending to be engaged in a fake marriage The defendant also allegedly obtained her consent in accordance with Section 90 of the IPC in the mistaken belief that he could wed her.
In the Sachin case (Sachin @ Devendra Gajanand Sangray v. State of Gujarat, 2015), the accused and the victim had been in a live-in relationship and cohabiting in Surat, Gujarat for a year. They were also coworkers. Due to a personal feud that started between them on March 1, 2012, they broke up after a year. On March 10, 2012, he visited the girl’s home to extend an invitation to his wedding on March 12, 2012. The girl’s complaint claims that the defendant raped her after pretending to want to marry her.
As stated earlier it depends from case to case in a recent judgement, Orissa high court has declared the SEXUAL INTERCOURSE ON THE FALSE PRETEXT OF MARRIAGE does not amount to rape
The court made the observations last month while granting bail to a man accused of raping a woman on the pretext of marriage.
“A consensual relationship without even any assurance, obviously will not attract the offence under section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code. The law holding that false promise to marriage amounts to rape appears to be erroneous,”
“It is an undeniable fact that our society is still largely conservative when it comes to matters of sex and sexuality. Virginity is a prized element. The victim being a major girl with a sound mind, there seems to be no question of anyone being in a position to induce her into a physical relationship under the assurance of marriage. There could be a possibility of experimentation with erotic asphyxiation which is very much part of their sexual autonomy,” the judge said.
“While a murderer destroys the physical frame of the victim, a rapist degrades and de les the soul of a helpless female.”(Tulsidas Kanolkar v. State of Goa, 2003)
Perhaps most significantly under Indian law, ending a marriage engagement after having sex does not automatically constitute rape. Due to the absence of probate legislation, rape by false promise of marriage cases are decided at the court’s discretion after taking all relevant factors into account.
There must be some use of force and a complete lack of consent in order to prove the first aspect of rape. First-degree rape is defined as coerced sexual contact with the victim’s consent. Furthermore, rape in the second degree, which carries a less severe punishment than rape in the first, may be defined as consent obtained through a mistake of fact, misrepresentation, or deception.
The best form to come to a decision in this area of cases is to follow the Latin maxim which is the very basis of law Audi alteram partem listen to the other side”, or “let the other side be heard as well
Written by – Steffi Desousa
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