The Karnataka High Court quashed a rape case against a man who was accused of indulging into sexual relationship with a woman on a false promise to marry. However, the Court directed him to pay Rs. 10,000/- as maintenance to the child who was born out of such relationship till the conclusion of trial in cheating case against him.

The Dharwad Bench was dealing with a petition filed by the accused who challenged the proceedings registered for the offences punishable under Sections 376, 506, 417, and 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) being pending before the Trial Court.

A Single Bench of Justice M. Nagaprasanna said, “In the crossfire between the petitioner and the complainant, the innocent child is caught. Therefore, in the peculiar facts of this case, as it is found that the petitioner is the biological father of the child, he cannot now show a hands off to the responsibility of the child which is born to him albeit, till the conclusion of the trial. … I therefore, deem it appropriate to direct the petitioner to pay maintenance to the child at Rs.10,000/- p.m. till the conclusion of the trial.”

Advocate K.L. Patil appeared on behalf of the petitioner while HCGP V.S. Kalasurmath and Advocate Archana A. Magadum appeared on behalf of the respondents.

Factual Background -

The accused and the complainant were in love since 2018 and had physical relationship as well. The complainant was married to another man in 2021, at the time when she and accused were still in relationship. The marriage between them floundered and this led to the complainant walking out of the matrimonial house and staying back with her parents. It was at that time, the accused was alleged to have lured her in continuing the relationship they had earlier and he promised her that if she would come out of the marriage, he would marry her.

Thereafter, the complainant came to know that she was pregnant as a result of physical relationship with the accused. She further came to know that the accused wanted to get married to someone else and it was then she registered a complaint against him. Registration of crime is what drove the accused to the High Court via petition.

The High Court in view of the facts and circumstances of the case observed, “… the offence under Section 376 of the IPC cannot be laid against the petitioner and permitting further proceedings to continue would become an abuse of the process of the law and therefore, the said offence is to be obliterated. … What remain are, the offences punishable under Section 417 420 and 506 of the IPC - cheating and criminal intimidation. All of them are found in the case at hand."

The Court noted that the petitioner undoubtedly lured the complainant taking advantage of the strained relationship between her and her husband, on such promise of marriage, which resulted in child being born from, out of the wedlock.

“Vehement submissions were made by the learned counsel for petitioner that the child has not born to the petitioner but it was Smt. Archana A. Magadum, learned counsel for respondent No.2 – complainant who vehemently opposed the contentions and insisted upon the production of the DNA report as according to the instructions of the complainant, the child is born to the petitioner and the complainant”, added the Court.

The Court further observed that the DNA report clearly indicates that the petitioner and the complainant are the biological parents of the child born from their acts. It said that the petitioner had only intention to have physical relationship and therefore, the offence of cheating is met and the result of such cheating was the birth of the child.

“The other offence is for criminal intimidation, punishable under Section 506 of the IPC. Even that would be met in the case at hand as the allegation in the complaint or the summary of the charge sheet is that, the petitioner has threatened the complainant throughout four years. Therefore, it would become the ingredients of Section 503 of the IPC. The offences under Section 506 of the IPC is also to be sustained”, held the Court.

The Court also said that the complainant is left in the lurch as she has neither the support of her husband as her relationship is completely strained, nor the petitioner who is wanting to marry another lady.

Accordingly, the High Court partly allowed the criminal petition, quashed the case under Section 376 IPC, and sustained the pending proceedings for the offences under Sections 417, 420, and 506 IPC.

Cause Title- Raghvendraraddi Shivaraddi Naduvinamani v. The State of Karnataka & Anr.

Click here to read/download the Order