DEHRADUN: Quashing rape charges levelled against a man, Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma of the Uttarakhand high court said, “In today’s modern society, offence under IPC Section 376 (rape) is being misused by women as a weapon as soon as some differences arise with their partner to duress upon the other party for many unknown factors.”

The man was booked at Haldwani police station on June 30, 2020, for allegedly raping a woman on the pretext of marriage.
Referring to the case, the court earlier this month held that the woman’s allegations of rape would not stand since she was in an intimate relationship with the man for 15 years and it continued even after the accused married another person in 2019. It also found that the couple had assured each other they’d get married, as soon as either got a job.

Ordering that proceedings against the petitioner stand quashed, the HC said, “The falsity of an assurance of marriage is to be tested at its inception and not at a subsequent stage. The initial stage cannot be said to have been prolonged for 15 years and continued even after the marriage of the applicant.”
“Considering the gravity of the offence, though apparently it seems to be a social menace… we have to simultaneously balance the equity and look into the aspect of the contribution or the active role played by a female for commission of the offence,” the court added.
It also cited the apex court which had earlier stated: “When a physical relationship is established with consent, and if it justifies the test in exclusion to the provisions contained under Section 375 of the IPC, it will not be a rape, and at the most it could be taken as to be an offence for the breach of trust, but at least not an offence under Section 376.”

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