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SC declares consensual sex between live-in partners not rape if man fails to marry woman

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SC declares consensual sex between live-in partners not rape if man fails to marry woman

While quashing an FIR lodged by a Maharashtra-based nurse against a doctor, who were in a live-in relationship “for quite some time”, the Supreme Court declared that consensual sex between the partners leading live-in relationship does not amount to rape in case the man fails to marry the woman due to circumstances beyond his control.

A bench of justices AK Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer said that when live-in partners are living together out of love and having consensual sex under the promise of marriage them the woman cannot be allowed to initiate criminal proceedings for rape in case of break down of relationship without tying the knot. It said that such cases could be termed as a case of breach of promise to marry rather than a case of false promise to marry.

According to the FIR, the woman, a widow, had fallen in love with the doctor and they started living together. Referring to the facts of the case, the court said they were living together for quite some time and when the woman came to know that the man had married someone else, she lodged the complaint.

The bench said that the acknowledged consensual physical relationship between the parties would not constitute an offence under section 376 (rape) of the IPC.

Also read: Couples in live-in relationship can now adopt child

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