Delhi High Court recently noted that the mere fact of being engaged does not mean that the accused can sexually assault, beat or threaten her. The High Court denied bail to a man who was accused of raping his fiancé multiple times over the pretext of their planned marriage.
Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma rejected the contention that since the parties were engaged, it cannot be said that there was a false promise of marriage.
Justice Sharma added, “However, in this Court’s opinion, the argument has no force, since the mere fact of being engaged did not mean that the accused could have sexually assaulted, beaten or threatened the victim.”
An FIR was registered on July 16 under Section 376 (punishment for rape) and Section 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The chargesheet was filed on September 17.
As per the victim’s statement, they were friends since October 2020 and got engaged in October last year. Four days after the engagement, the accused forcibly developed a physical relationship with the victim on the pretext of marriage.
The victim also alleged that the accused had mercilessly beaten her in an intoxicated state. As a result of the accused establishing a non-consensual physical relationship on several occasions, she allegedly even got her pregnant. He allegedly gave her abortion pills in February.
In the FIR, the victim mentioned that when she visited the accused house on July 9, his parents refused to solemnize the marriage.
Considering the allegations of forcible abortion by the administration of abortion pills “very serious, the High Court noted, “A woman who was yet unmarried may not have kept the evidence of same for reasons to save her honour.”
Perusing the statement recorded under Section 161 and Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) as well as the charge sheet, HC observed that the allegations are very serious in nature which showed that she had been sexually assaulted and raped on several occasions by the accused on the false pretext of marriage.
The bench added, “Thus, considering the seriousness of the offence, the nature of allegations and the fact that the charges have not been framed yet and trial is yet to commence, this is not a fit case for grant of bail.”