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Consensual physical relationship promising marriage not rape even if vow not fulfilled: Kerala HC

Kochi: Withdrawing from marriage promise after engaging in physical relationship cannot be treated as rape, said the Kerala High Court on Thursday.

The court made the observation while cancelling the rape charges against a Punalur native.

The complainant had contested the plea seeking removal of the charges against the accused, stating that he promised to marry her when they started a sexual relationship.

However, the court observed that from the statement of the “survivor,” it is evident that the physical relationship was consensual. She was also awaiting the completion of her divorce from her first marriage. For these reasons, the rape charge cannot be invoked in the case, Justice Kauser Edappagath noted.

The court also ruled that the cheating case would not be sustained in this case.

In August 2022, a Supreme Court bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul had also ruled that a consensual physical relationship based on a “genuine promise” of marriage is not rape if the parties fail to fulfill it.

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