The Supreme Court has recently quashed a criminal case against a man accused of raping a woman 150 times based on a false promise of marriage. The Court quashed the case after noting that the complainant has married someone and in order to ensure that "the marital life of the respondent No.2- complainant may not be disturbed in future on account of the present proceedings".

The Appeal was filed by the Petitioner herein assailing the judgment passed by the Madras High Court dismissing the petition filed by him under Section 482 Cr.P.C. seeking quashing of the proceedings, based on, among other things, medical evidence that the woman was found to be a virgin in medical examination and her hymen was intact. The FIR against the Petitioner was under Sections 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

The Bench of Justice Bela M Trivedi and Justice Pankaj Mithal observed, “Today, during the course of the arguments also, the learned counsel, Mr. T. Harish Kumar, appearing for the respondent No.2 - complainant, on instructions, has insisted that the proceedings be quashed so that there may not be any disturbance in her present marital life…Though, we do not wish to express any opinion on the merits of the case, on the joint request made by the learned counsel for the parties and in exercise of powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India, we accept the present appeal, with a view to see that the marital life of the respondent No.2 - complainant may not be disturbed in future on account of the present proceedings. However, we leave the question of law open.”

Advocate Abhilash M.R. appeared on behalf of the Petitioner while Advocates T. Harish Kumar and D. Kumanan appeared on behalf of the Respondents.

The Counsel for the Petitioner submitted that the High Court refused to quash the case despite noting that the Complainant has gotten married and does not wish to have disturbances from her past life.

The Petitioner and the Complainant were in a relationship for more than six years. It was alleged in the complaint that he used to visit her in the hostel and on the pretext of marriage insisted on the physical relationship. Since she refused, the Petitioner again allegedly forced her to have a physical relationship for which he took some obscene videos and photos to threaten her.

It was alleged in the Complaint that whenever she avoided visiting Chennai, the Petitioner visited her in Bangalore, threatened her to upload the photos on the internet and forcibly compelled her to have a physical relationship more than 150 times.

It was argued by the Petitioner before the High Court that upon medical examination of the Complainant, it was found that her hymen was intact and hence it was argued that essential ingredients of Section 375 is not made out. However, the Court refused to look at the medical evidence stating that it is a matter for trial. The Court held, "Whether the version of LW1/victim girl suffers from material contradiction with that of the medical evidence of Doctor and whether the statement of the victim/LW1 suffers from improvement, amounting to embellishment in the nature of material contradiction, as to the physical act committed by the Accused on her body and whether the version of LW1, satisfying the ingredients under Section 375 IPC, which is punishable under Section 376, are all matters for trial".

The High Court further observed, “The charge sheet in the instant case has also been filed. The plea taken by the Petitioner are in the nature of defence or to say the least, viz., the disputed question of fact, cannot be gone into at the quashment stage. Prosecutrix has made clear allegation against the Accused in her statement, recorded under section 161 and reiterated the same in her further statement. Truth and falsity of the allegation cannot be gone into at this stage. It is a specific case of Prosecutrix that, she allowed to physical relationship, on the promise of marriage. In the furtherance thereof, after taking some obscene photographs, she was threatened and further he had sexual intercourse.”

Accordingly, the Supreme Court quashed and set aside the criminal proceedings against the Petitioner

Cause Title: V.V. Sarath Kumar v. The Inspector of Police and Anr.


Appellant: Advocates Abhilash M.R., Sayooj Mohandas M., Rajkumar, Arun Kumar and Sandra Jaison, S. Jyotiranjan and Sandeep Singh.

Respondents: Advocates D. Kumanan, Deepa S, Sheikh F. Kalia, Veshal Tyagi, T. Harish Kumar, Subham Kothari and Preethi G.

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