A woman who was in a relationship with a man and willingly stayed with him cannot later file a rape case if the relationship ends, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, granting pre-arrest bail to the man accused of rape for failing to fulfil a promise to marry in a relationship in which a child was born.
Ansaar Mohammad, accused of rape, unnatural offences, and criminal intimidation, was granted anticipatory bail by a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Vikram Nath.
“The complainant willingly stayed with the appellant and maintained the relationship. As a result, if the relationship is not working out, it cannot be used to file a FIR under Section 376(2)(n) of the IPC “the order said.
The bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Vikram Nath was hearing an appeal against the Rajasthan High Court’s judgement in May to dismiss the appellant’s anticipatory bail application under sections 376(2)(n), 377, and 506 IPC.
The High Court stated in the challenged order, “It is an admitted position that petitioner had made the relation with complainant by promising to marry her and due to their relation, one female child was born. So, looking to the gravity of offence, I do not consider it a fit case to enlarge the petitioners on anticipatory bail.”
Mohammad had petitioned the Supreme Court after the Rajasthan High Court denied his appeal for anticipatory bail under Section 438 of the Indian Penal Code (CrPC). The Supreme Court did remark, however, that the complainant admitted to being in a relationship with the appellant for four years and that she was 21 years old when the relationship began.
Given this evidence, the bench concluded that the complainant willingly stayed with the appellant and maintained the relationship.
“As a result, if the relationship is not working out, it cannot be used as a ground for lodging a FIR for the offence under Section 376(2)(n) IPC,” the court stated.
As a result, the bench granted the current appeal and overturned the High Court’s ruling, directing that the appellant be released on bail to the satisfaction of the competent authority.
The Bench emphasised, however, that the observations in the judgement are only for the purpose of considering the anticipatory arrest bail application, and that the investigation should proceed unaffected by the observations made in the order.
The petitioner’s advocate (the appellant before the Supreme Court) submitted that the petitioner had been falsely implicated in this case and that the current complaint was filed with wrong facts; that the complainant and the petitioner had been living in a relationship since 2015, the complainant was a married lady and that there was no false promise of marriage between the parties and that the complainant was in a consensual relationship with the petitioner.
The complainant’s advocate had countered the petitioner’s arguments, claiming that the complainant had divorced her husband and had a living relationship with the petitioner because he had promised to marry her.
Advocate Arjun Singh Bhati represented the appellant, while Advocates Himanshu Sharma, Aditi Sharma, Seeta Ram Sharma, Ram Niwas Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Sandeep Singh, and Saurav Arora represented the complainant.
Case Title: Ansaar Mohammad v. State of Rajasthan