Case Title: S Rajadurai vs State (NCT) of Delhi
A single bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma of Delhi High Court while quashing the proceedings initiated against a man for the offence of rape, said that the live-in relationship between two married individuals is not considered as an offence, but later woman cannot claim rape charges under the false pretext of marriage.
The bench said that live-in relationship between two consenting married adults has not been made criminal or legislated against.
“Live-in relationship between two consenting married adults, who are married to different partners, has not been made criminal or legislated against. While concluding that legal enforcement of morals has not been legislated against, and cannot be a subject matter of any legal morality preached through a judgment”.
The plea was filed by a man seeking the quashing of FIR filed against him for the offence of rape by the woman on allegations that he established sexual relations with her on the false pretext of marriage.
The bench noted that both man and woman were married to other people and yet indulging in a live-in relationship.
The Court held that the said act may be socially unacceptable but it is not a crime, and further held that the married woman cannot claim rape charges against a man under false pretext of marriage, when she was not legally eligible to marry someone else.
“The protection and remedies available under Section 376 of the IPC cannot be extended to a victim who was not legally entitled to marry the person with whom she was in sexual relationship with. A case can be made out under Section 376 of IPC, if the victim can prove that she was induced into a sexual relationship under false pretext of marriage by the other party being legally eligible to enter into a marriage with such person”.
The bench further said that the individuals are free to make decisions, however they have to remain ready to face potential consequences.
The court observed that “Courts of law cannot serve as legal moralists preaching morality. They must critically examine the criminal aspects derived from the facts of each case”.
The court while allowing the plea of the man said that, it was evident that the man could not entered into legal marriage with the woman and since the woman was ineligible to marry a man, there was no valid basis for woman to entertain the notion of a promise of marriage.