Delhi HC says married woman cannot allege rape by live-in partner under false pretext of marriage

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court ruled that a rape case against a man who is also married by his live-in partner cannot be upheld because a woman who is already married to another person cannot allege that she was coerced into a sexual connection under the false pretext of marriage.

In a ruling issued on Thursday, Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma noted that the case involved two people who could not legally wed each other but were living together under a “live-in relationship agreement,” and that as a result, the protection and remedies provided by Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Indian Penal Code cannot be extended to such a “victim”.

While the parties have the right to make their own decisions, the judge noted that while a live-in relationship between two consenting adults who are married to separate partners has not been made a criminal offence, both men and women should “remain conscious of the repercussion” of such a relationship.

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