Orissa HC rules sex on false promise of marriage doesn’t tantamount to rape

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Cuttack: In a landmark judgment, Orissa High Court has ruled that sex on the false promise of marriage does not tantamount to rape. This verdict was delivered by Justice SK Panigrahi.

Justice Panigrahi ruled this while disposing of a petition challenging a lower court order which had dismissed the bail petition of a rape accused in December last year.

The accused was arrested under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code on the charge of raping a 19-year-old girl on the false pretext of marrying her and impregnating her in the process. A case was lodged at Pottangi police station in Koraput district in this connection on November 27, 2019.

The accused was lodged in judicial custody after the Court of Sessions-cum-Special Judge, Koraput -Jeypore dismissed his bail petition on December 11, 2019.

Rejecting the lower court order, the Orissa High Court judge stated that having physical relation on the false promise of marriage does not fall under the definition of rape. He said it is not covered under the seven ingredients of rape as defined under 375 of IPC.

Justice Panigrahi noted that the case needs to have a serious relook. He said the rape laws should not be used to regulate intimate relationships and especially in cases where women are entering a relationship by choice.

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