The Bombay High Court in its order dated April 27, 2022 refused to grant anticipatory bail to a man employed with the Police Department, who has been booked for raping a woman under the pretext of false promise of marriage.
A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and SV Kotwal was hearing a criminal appeal filed by Rupesh Koli, challenging an order of the sessions court at Panvel, Maharashtra by which Koli was refused anticipatory bail.
As per the First Information Report (FIR) filed on September 18, 2021, Koli met the prosecutrix on a social media platform, where the duo got acquainted. The virtual friendship turned into an intimate relationship after Koli promised to marry the prosecutrix in 2019, and in November 2019, he established physical relations with her.
Further, the FIR stated that when the mother of the prosecutrix enquired as to when the appellant would marry her daughter, Koli assured that the ceremony would be performed after the Covid-19 induced lockdown came to an end.
The prosecutrix claimed that in December 2019, when she got pregnant due to the continuous intimacy, she was given pills to cause miscarriage and the appellant gave her an assurance that he would soon marry her. She again got pregnant in April 2021, and was given the pills.
However, subsequent to this, the appellant’s behaviour changed, and he often assaulted the prosecutrix which resulted in her to filing the FIR in September 2021.
Booked For Rape
The appellant was booked under:
- Section 376(2)(n) (rape)
- Section 313 (causing miscarriage without consent)
- Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt)
…of the Indian Penal Code
read with provisions of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Defense By Accused
Koli’s counsel submitted that this case one of a purely consensual relationship, and hence no offence is made out against his client. He further pointed out that his client is in the employment of the Police Department, and his arrest would affect his career.
He also submitted that the parties had reached a settlement, thus the case should be closed.
Arguments By Complainant Woman
On the other hand, the prosecutrix and the State submitted that this was a serious offence and that the appellant had no intention to marry the prosecutrix from the inception. It was further submitted that since the prosecutrix belonged to the Scheduled Caste, and resultantly a case under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was also made out against him.
Bombay High Court
The Bombay HC considered the detailed submissions, and subsequently the bench noted that the the relationship was consensual, but the consent was obtained on the false promise of marriage. The Judges observed,
It appears that the physical relations between Appellant (Koli) and the informant were going on for a long time but they were based on the promise of marriage given by the appellant to her. Subsequently, he did not take steps to marry her. His subsequent conduct shows that he never intended to marry her right from the inception.
The bench further considered the submission of the prosecutrix that Koli had been threatening her of consequences and forcing her to settle the matter. Dismissing the appeal, the judges said,
In the background of the averments made in the affidavit filed on behalf of the informant, possibility of pressurising her to settle the matter, cannot be ruled out. Hence no case is made out.
- When Adult women want to exercise right over their body, it is My Body My Choice
- When marriage does not culminate after consensual relationship between adults, should a Man be charged with rape?
- An adult woman has full right to SAY NO for any physical relationship, however, “pretext of marriage” is a mere tool used if the man backs out from tying the knot
- Alternately, there is no such provision whatsoever, when women back out from marriage after years of dating, getting physically intimate with men and false promises of marrying their male partners
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READ ORDER | Relationship Was Consensual, But Consent Was Obtained On False Promise Of Marriage: Bombay HC Refuses Anticipatory Bail To Police Officer In Rape Case— Men’s Day Out (@MensDayOutIndia) May 2, 2022
▪️Accused also charged under SC ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act#GenderBiasedLaws https://t.co/UHIJ5xeMcB
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