SC stays proceedings against man charged with rape of wife prior to marriage

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has granted an interim stay on the trial court proceedings against a man who approached the apex court seeking quashing of rape charges levelled against him by his wife prior to their marriage.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court presided by Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna while passing the order, said, “there shall be stay of further proceedings in Sessions Case No. 6941 of 2016 pending before the Ld. Additional Sessions Judge, Saket Courts, New Delhi.”

The man approached the apex court through advocates Nishaank Mattoo, Abhishek Bharti and Shivika Singh challenging the order of the Delhi High Court by which it had dismissed his two petitions seeking quashing of rape charges against him.

According to the case of the prosecution, the complainant met the petitioner in January, 2013 on account of a professional assignment. Thereafter they met each other regularly and got romantically involved with each other.

The complainant woman who was a widow entered into a live-in relationship with the petitioner and moved in with him in March 2013 at his rented accommodation in Delhi.

Later, in August 2013, the two had an altercation after which they both broke up. Following which she filed a complaint against the petitioner and levelled rape charges against him on the ground of consensual sex on the false pretext of marriage.

Next year, i.e. in 2014 during the course of the trial, the marriage of the petitioner and the respondent No 2 was solemnised as per Hindu rituals however on account of some differences and misunderstandings the trial proceedings continued.

Five years later, upon the intervention of friends and well-wishers both parties resolved all the differences and misunderstandings between them amicably by way of a settlement deed dated 16.08.2019. The woman gave her no-objection affidavit for quashing of the aforesaid FIR and all proceedings emanating therefrom.

After receiving the same, the man approached the Delhi High Court which turned down his first petition saying that rape cases cannot be quashed merely because a settlement has taken place even if the marriage of the parties has been solemnised while citing the Gian Singh judgment as a ground for such an observation.

While the second petition was turned down merely on the basis of the dismissal of the earlier petition, the plea filed before the Supreme Court said.

After hearing the preliminary submissions, the top court on August 20 also issued notice to the Delhi Police and other respondents and slated the matter for hearing after four weeks.

(IANS)

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