Act of “promiscuity” on the part of lady cannot put a man behind bar on charges of rape

Delhi High Court: Dealing with a case where a man was convicted for committing rape upon a widow lady “X” on pretext of marrying her, a bench of S.P. Garg J acquitted the accused, holding that “if a fully grown up lady consents to the act of sexual intercourse on a promise to marry and continues to indulge in such an activity for long, it is an act of ‘promiscuity’ on her part and not an act induced by misconception of fact”.

In the instant case, “X” alleged that after the demise of her husband, the appellant put ‘sindoor’ on her ‘maang’ in front of her elder sisters and 3 children and expressed desire to marry her, and thereafter forcibly established physical relations with her several times without her consent on the assurance to talk to his parents about their relation.

The Court observed that “X” continued to have sexual relations with the appellant on several occasions without demur, and raised alarm/ hue and cry only when the appellant started avoiding her and stopped attending her telephone calls. The Court noted that filling of ‘maang’ with ‘sindoor’ ipso facto does not create any relationship akin to promise to marry, and that “X” was mature enough to understand the nature and implications of the act which she consented to. The Court stated that the conduct of the appellant was unfair/ unreasonable, as he knowingly that “X” was a widow having 3 grown-up children, indulged in consensual sex with her, however, conviction cannot be based upon the sole testimony of the prosecutrix, as she failed to establish that physical relations with her were on the false promise of marriage. Accordingly, the Court set aside the conviction and sentence of the appellant and ordered to release him if he is not required to be detained in any other criminal case. Gaurav Maggo v. The State of NCT, Delhi, 2015 SCC OnLine Del 9866, decided on 29.05.2015

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