The Delhi High Court in its recent order has observed that when both partners are living together in a live-in relationship, it would not be a criminal offence in case expenses are borne by the prosecutrix (girlfriend) or by both the partners.
Justice Mukta Gupta made the observation while granting anticipatory bail to a man in a rape case filed by the prosecutrix with an allegation that she was made to spend Rs 1,25,000 under pressure.
In September 2017, the prosecutrix had come to Delhi in search of job during which she met the petitioner (boyfriend). It was alleged that the petitioner pressurised the prosecutrix to persuade her parents for marriage. However, it was only in August 2019, that the woman’s parents agreed for the marriage.
It was also alleged by her that the petitioner established physical relations contrary to her wishes claiming that there was no problem as the parents had agreed for their marriage. She claimed that when she used to refuse to anything, he used to assault her.
Furthermore, it was her case that she used to bear all the expenses which were around Rs 1,25,000. Later, the sum was returned in lieu of a settlement between the parties. Subsequently, the instant FIR was lodged on allegations of rape.
Delhi High Court
After going through facts presented on record, Justice Mukta Gupta observed,
In a live-in relationship where both the partners are living together, it is not that only one partner has to bear the expenses and in case expenses are born by the prosecutrix or both bear the expenses, the same would not be a criminal offence.
From the statements of the prosecutrix itself it is evident that both the petitioner and prosecutrix were in a live-in relationship and both persuaded their families for the marriage and initially it was the prosecutrix’s family which did not agree, however later her father agreed for the marriage.
No reason has been given as to why the marriage was not performed thereafter.
No Medical Record of Assault
On the allegations of the prosecutrix that she was assaulted by the petitioner, the Court observed that there was neither any complaint nor MLC which showed that the petitioner used to assault her. The court said,
Considering the nature of allegations levelled in the FIR this Court deems it fit to grant anticipatory bail to the petitioner.
Accordingly, anticipatory bail was granted to the petitioner subject to him furnishing a bail bond of Rs 25,000 with one surety of like amount.
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