In the latest judgment of SC, they acquitted a man accused of raping a woman on the pretect of marriage, observed that misconception of fact arising out of promise to marry has to be in proximity of time to the occurrence and cannot be spread over a long period of time coupled with a conscious positive action not to protest.
The allegation in this case was that the accused Maheshwar Tigga has been promising to marry her and on the pretext continued to establish physical relations with her and on that pretext continued to establish physical relations with her as husband and wife. It was also alleged that she had also stayed at his house for fifteen days during which also he established physical relations with him. The trial court convicted him under sections 376, 323, and 341 of the Indian Penal Code. The Karnataka HC dismissed his appeal.
The bench noted in the case that the accused belonged to the Scheduled Tribe while the prosecutrix belonged to the Christian Community. The court also said that the letters between them, which were produced as Exhibits, makes it apparent that their love for each other grew and matured over a sufficient period of time.
The court also said that these letters would show that the accused was serious about the relationship desiring to culminate the same into marriage. But unfortunately for societal reasons, the marriage could not materialize as they belonged to different communities. The court said that section 375 would apply only if the accused intentionally made a fraudulent misrepresentation from the very inception and the prosecutrix gave her consent on a misconception of fact.
In the context the bench referred to two recent judgments: Dhruvaram Murlidhar Sonar v. State of Maharashtra AIR 2019 SC 327 and in Pramod Suryabhan Pawar v. State of Maharashtra (2019) 9 SCC 608.