MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court bench at Aurangabad recently refused to quash the criminal proceedings under charges of rape and the stringent SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act against a man, who didn't marry a woman on the ground that she belonged to a lower caste. The HC said that the man's promise to marry her and then indulging into sexual intercourse amounted to a "false promise."
A bench of Justices Vishwas Jadhav and Sandipkumar More was hearing a plea filed by one Ganesh Suryawanshi seeking to quash the criminal proceedings pending against him before a special court in Aurangabad.
As per the prosecution case, Ganesh met the victim on social media platform Instagram. He insisted her to meet personally and she met him after initially refusing to meet, in December 2019.
During one of their meetings, Ganesh insisted to indulge into sexual intercourse. The victim, however refused to submit. But then he promised to marry her and on this sole promise, she agreed to intercourse. This went on till March 2020, when Ganesh started avoiding her and later said he won't marry her since she belonged to a lower caste.
The prosecution highlighted the fact that the victim had informed Ganesh about her caste, much before their intercourse and that he hadn't raised any objection at that point of time.
Taking note of the facts of the case, the judges referred to the rulings of the Supreme Court which has held that in such cases, it is important to establish that the promise made was false and that such a promise had a direct nexus with the girl's decision to indulge into sexual intercourse.
"In the instant matter, Ganesh appears to be engaged in sexual relationship with the girl on the promise of marriage and she also on many occasions consented for the same due to that reason only. However, the FIR clearly indicates that she had already told her caste to Ganesh before engaging into sexual relationship," the bench noted.
"Therefore, the refusal from him for performance of marriage with her on the basis of they belong to different castes, prima facie appears a false promise," the bench held, adding, "After such refusal, there was no physical relationship between him and the victim further."
"Thus, the facts of this case clearly indicate that whatever acts of sexual intercourse between Ganesh and the victim were because of a clear-cut false promise of marriage. Therefore, we are not inclined to quash the proceedings," the bench concluded.