The Supreme Court has held that a consensual sexual relationship between live-in partners would not amount to rape in some cases such as when the man, due to adverse circumstances beyond his control, does not marry the woman.
"The acknowledged consensual relationship between the parties would not constitute an offence under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code," said the bench of Justice A. K. Sikri and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer in a recent judgment.
"There may be a case where where the prosecutrix agrees to have sexual intercourse on account of her love and passion for the accused and not solely on account of misconception created by accused, or where an accused on account of circumstance which he could not have foreseen or which were beyond his control, was unable to marry her despite having every intention to do so. Such cases must be treated differently," the bench said.
The court said this while quashing an FIR lodged against a doctor by a Maharashtra based nurse who were, for quite some time, in a live-in relationship.
Pointing to clear distinction between rape and consensual sex between live-in partners, the court said, "The courts, in such cases must very carefully examine whether the complainant had actually wanted to marry the victim or had mala fide motives and had made a false promise to this effect only to satisfy his lust, as the later falls within the ambit of cheating or deception."
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