In a path-breaking judgment, the Gujarat High Court on Friday ruled that breach of promise to marry cannot substantiate rape charge and quashed a complaint against a Surat-based man by his former live-in partner.
“I am not convinced with the case of the prosecutrix (the lady who had filed a complaint of rape against her former live in partner). In a case of this type, no other evidence is helpful except the version of the prosecutrix,” a single judge Gujarat High Court bench comprising Justice J B Pardiwala said in an order today.
“Assuming for a moment that there was some assurance of marriage, even then mere breach of promise to marry by itself will not substantiate the offence under Section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code,” the order said.
The Gujarat High Court passed the order after a plea filed by a Surat-based person Sachin Sangray sought to set aside court proceedings against him under the charges of rape filed by his former live-in partner.
Sangray worked as a sales manager in a Surat-based private insurance company, developed a close relationship with his female colleague and started living together in the Nanpura area of Surat city with her.
However, they parted ways on March 1, 2012, after a live-in relationship of around an year.
On March 10, 2012, Sangray visited the girl’s home to invite her and her family for his marriage, which was to be solemnised on March 13, 2012, the High Court order said.
After this, the girl filed a police complaint alleging rape, claiming that she was duped by her former live-in partner by falsely promising marriage.
The Surat police arrested Sangray and filed a charge sheet against him under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, before a court of the judicial magistrate in Surat last year.
Later, Sangray moved a plea before the High Court to set aside the rape charge against him.
However, the complainant did not appear in the High Court, either in person or through an advocate and Sangray’s application went unopposed by her, the order said.
Sangray’s lawyer A Y Kogze had submitted that the complainant had physical relations with the accused for about a year of her free will and volition, with eyes wide open.
They went their ways later due to some dispute and hence legal proceedings initiated against Sangray is nothing but an abuse of the law, Kogze said.
The Gujarat High Court also took notice of the fact that the relationship between Sangray and his live-in partner was consensual, which cannot be defined as rape