Sex on pretext of marriage is not rape: Odisha court

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court today ordered sex on the pretext of marriage cannot be considered as a rape. While setting aside a lower court’s order on rejecting the bail plea of a rape accused, the HC said the automatic extension of provisions of Section 90 of IPC to determine the effect of a consent under Section 375 of IPC deserves a serious relook. The law holding that false promise to marriage amounts to rape appears to be erroneous.

Justice SK Panigrahi said, “Since the framers of law have specifically provided the circumstances when ‘consent’ amounts to ‘no consent’ in terms of Section 375 of IPC, hence consent for the sexual act on the pretext of marriage is not one of the circumstances mentioned under Section 375 of IPC.”

Worth mentioning, a 19-year-old girl had lodged a police complaint against the person accusing him of rape at the Patangi police station in Koraput district on November 27. She further alleged the person took advantage of her innocence and established sexual relationship. When she got pregnant twice, the person gave her some medicines and terminated the pregnancy, the complaint stated.

Based on the girl’s complaint, the person was booked. Following his arrest, the accused moved his bail plea before the Sessions-cum-Special judge court of Koraput-Jeypore and it was rejected. The person has been in police custody since then.

In today’s development, the HC granted a bail to the person while setting aside the lower court’s order.

The HC said, “The factual matrix of the case is based on a prima facie view based on records, as so many aspects of the matter are hungry for a thorough trial and till that time the benefit of bail deserves to be passed on to the appellant.”

The HC directed the person to cooperate the investigation and asked him not to threaten the victim or misutilise the liberty granted to him.

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