Delhi High Court: While dismissing the public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to keep the cases of live-in-relationships out of the purview of Section 376 IPC, the division bench of G. Rohini C.J. and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw J. held that keeping  live-in-relationships outside the ambit of Section 376 IPC would give it the status of matrimony which the Legislature has expressly chosen not to do. The Court further observed that a live-in-relationship constitutes a distinct class from marriage but defense of consent would be always available to the accused.

In the instant case, where petitioner and respondents was represented by C.S.S Tomar and Jasmeet Singh respectively, the petitioner also sought directions for (i) securing compensation for persons acquitted of criminal charge of rape under 376 IPC; (ii) registration of cases against person on whose complaint accused was prosecuted who ultimately received acquittal and also against the respective police officials who conducted the investigation against him; (iii) banning of sex offers and availability of pornographic or objectionable material on the internet.

The Court held that no general directions can be issued against such claims and further elaborated that just because the prosecutions ended in the discharge or acquittal of the accused does not necessarily warrant that the accusation made was baseless to the knowledge of the prosecution. Anil Dutt Sharma v. Union of India, 2015 SCC OnLine Del 7615, decided on 18.02.2015


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