live-in relationship and section 376 of ipc

Supreme Court: In an appeal challenging the decision of Rajasthan High Court dated 25-04-2023 rejecting bail application of the petitioner for offences under Sections 366, 376, 384, 323, 328, 120-B of Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) and Sections 3 and 4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (‘POCSO Act’), the Division Bench of Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia, JJ. granted bail to the accused considering three weighty factors favouring the petitioner, which also included a live-in relationship agreement with the prosecutrix.

It was alleged on behalf of the petitioner that he and the prosecutrix were neighbors and both fell in a romantic relationship with each other. The petitioner belonged to Muslim Community, while the prosecutrix and her family followed Hindu religion. Religious differences forced the couple to elope and marry each other. They also entered into an agreement of live-in relationship on 25-08-2023 to attain a societal status.

When a missing report was filed by the prosecutrix’s father, the couple approached the High Court jointly seeking police protection. This was followed by registration of a First Information Report (‘FIR’) under Sections 366, 376, 384, 323, 328, 120-B of IPC and the petitioner was arrested on 31-10-2022.

The Court in the instant matter considered the following ‘weighty’ factors in the instant case:

  • Live-in relationship agreement dated 25-08-2022

  • Joint petition filed by parties seeking police protection, specifically as an inter-faith couple

  • Petitioner in custody for 9 months

Thus, the Court granted bail to the petitioner who was in jail for the past 9 months.

[Imamudin v. State of Rajasthan, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 782, Order dated 5-07-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioners: Advocate on Record Namit Saxena, Advocate Awnish Maithani, Advocate Shivam Raghuwanshi, Advocate Shiksha Ashra;

For Respondents: Advocate Vishal Meghwal, Advocate Padhmalakshmi Iyengar, Advocate on Record Milind Kumar, Advocate Jagdish Chandra Solanki, Advocate Yashika Bum.

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