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Madhya Pradesh High Court grants bail to rape accused to marry the victim

The accused and the victim were having a love affair and the victim had even divorced her husband on the insistence of the accused.

In a strange incident in Madhya Pradesh, an accused in a rape case was granted two-months bail by the Madhya Pradesh High Court to marry the victim. The victim complainant had filed a rape case against the accused under sections 376 (2) (n) and 506 of the Indian Penal Code and sections 3(I), (W-II), 3(2)(V) and 3(2)(V-a) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

The victim had made allegations against the accused that she was having a love affair with him while she was still married. The accused first has had sexual intercourse with her in 2017. Thereafter, the accused started coming to her house regularly and had sexual intercourse with her on the pretext of marriage. The victim had even divorced her husband on the insistence of the accused. However, later the accused went back on his promise and refused to marry her. Therefore, the victims filed a rape case against the accused.

But in a strange turn of events, the accused appealed to the Madhya Pradesh High Court against the order of Special Judge Dewas district wherein his request for regular was declined. Actually the accused was seeking bail for the purpose of marrying the victim. The families of the accused and the victim had agreed to their marriage. The HC granted bail to the accused. “Looking at the fact that the appellant and the prosecutrix are major and now they are ready to solemnise a marriage. In these circumstances, the present appeal is allowed and the appellant is granted temporary bail for a period of two months from the date of release so that during this period the appellant can solemnise the marriage with the prosecutrix”, the court order read. The bail plea was opposed by the Public Prosecutor in the case who contended that there were no sufficient grounds for releasing him on bail.

There is no provision of law expressly dealing with the cases of sexual intercourse on the pretext of marriage. The courts look into the facts and the circumstances of each case to infer whether a case of rape is made out or not. The courts generally look for two things, whether the promise of marriage was the sole reason behind the woman agreeing for the sexual intercourse and whether the promise was dishonest i.e. the man did not have an intention to keep the promise. The courts are usually reluctant to treat the cases of sexual intercourse on the promise of marriage as rape cases and the reason is that many times such cases either arise from the breach of promise to marry or the cases of elopement wherein the parents of the girl charge the boy for rape.

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