Madhya Pradesh High Court

Madhya Pradesh High Court: In a petition under Section 482 of the CrPC and the application under Sections 397 and 401 of the CrPC seeking the quashment of FIR and charges on the grounds that the prosecutrix did not file an FIR immediately after the alleged incidents of rape but eventually married the petitioner, a single-judge bench comprising of Vishal Dhagat, J., found the prosecutrix’s narrative less credible based on lack of physical injuries and the delayed reporting of FIR and quashed the FIR and charges.

In the instant matter, the petitioner and the prosecutrix were married on 27-10-2021 in Arya Samaj Mandir, Nehru Nagar, Bhopal. The prosecutrix alleged that the petitioner made false promises of marriage and established a physical relationship before their marriage. The petitioner filed for annulment soon after the marriage claiming the same to be a sham. The prosecutrix claimed that the petitioner raped her multiple times before and after marriage, under the pretense of false promises. The prosecutrix also alleged that the petitioner took Rs. 1.5 lakhs from her and filed the FIR only after facing repeated abuse and threats. The charges under Sections 376(2)(n) and 506-II of the IPC were framed by the trial court based on allegations by the prosecutrix that the petitioner had made false promises of marriage and coerced her into a physical relationship. The petitioner filed a revision under Section 482 of the CrPC and an application under Sections 397 and 401 of the CrPC seeking the quashment of an FIR and charges under the IPC.

The Court noted that the Exception 2 of Section 375 IPC exempts sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife from being categorized as rape and the prosecutrix’s allegations pertained to incidents before the marriage and under false promises do not fall under the Exception 2 of Section 375.

The Court noted that the prosecutrix’s statements revealed that no consent was given based on a false promise of marriage, but that the prosecutrix consistently opposed the petitioner’s advances and the sexual acts were forceful. The Court found that the prosecutrix did not believe the petitioner’s false promises and did not voluntarily consent to the sexual relationship. The Court further noted that despite alleging rape, the prosecutrix did not immediately file an FIR and later married the petitioner, casting doubt on the validity of her claims.

“Despite forceful rape being committed by the petitioner on her repeatedly for long time, she did not lodge FIR against petitioner on the contrary she also married the petitioner. Said circumstances show that no reasonable man will believe on the story which prosecutrix is narrating before the police station regarding commission of rape on her.”

While evaluating the credibility of the allegations, the Court considered the long-standing relationship between the petitioner and prosecutrix, and her delayed complaint. The Court quashed the order dated 31-10-2022 framing charges and dismissing the discharge application, FIR, and charge sheet against the petitioner.

[Sandeep Kumar Soni v. State of M.P., CRIMINAL REVISION No. 4421 of 2022, order dated 15-05-2024]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Shri Manish Datt, Senior Advocate with Shri Nishank Pal Varma, Counsel for the Petitioner

Shri Santosh Yadav, Dy. Govt. Advocate, Counsel for the Respondents

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