Promises of Marriage an Excuse of Rape

Due to the current idea of youth independence, the word "marriage" may have taken on a particularly bad air in some regions of the world. In certain cultures, young people think marriage is a negative thing. Young people are against it since their bodies are in a specific phase. Marriage is analogous to a chain and a bond. You have a specific method you want to use. But gradually, as the body begins to deteriorate, you start to wish there was a loyal companion by your side once more.

What is Rape?

A serious crime called rape involves a person engaging in sexual activity with another person without that person's consent or being coerced into engaging in sexual activity. In India, it is seen as a very serious offence. Rape, put simply, is when a person engages in sexual activity without the victim having given their consent. Due to growing technology & population, rape offences are on the rise today.

Laws Related to the Offence of Rapes and its Punishments

According to the Indian Penal Code, rape committed by a regular person is punishable by rigorous imprisonment of either description for a time that must not be less than 10 years but may extend to life in prison, as well as being subject to a fine.

  • Section 376(A) of IPC states that punishment for leaving a person in a chronic vegetative condition or for causing their death. The rapist may be sentenced to life in prison, which means that they will remain behind bars for the rest of their natural lives, or to death. The sentence must be hard and must last at least twenty years.

  • Section 376A- (B) of IPC states that rape of a woman under the age of twelve is punished.

  • Section 376 B of IPC states that punishment of a husband having sexual relations with his wife when they are apart.

  • Section 376 C of IPC states that penalty for sexual misconduct by a figure of authority.

  • Section 376 D of IPC states that penalty for the rapists who perpetrated gang rape.

  • Section 376 D-(A) of IPC states that gang rape of women under the age of sixteen is punished.

  • Section 376 D-(B) of IPC states that penalty for gang rape of women under the age of twelve.

  • Section 376 E of IPC states that retribution for persistent offenders.

Is false promise to marriage an offence?

The subject of whether having sex with a woman constitutes rape if consent was obtained by a false promise of marriage −

According to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860

Is frequently brought up in court. India's rape laws classified it as a crime and punished offenders. It is believed that marriage is a sacred relationship between two people. Couples' relationships are more than just physically intimate; they are also emotionally and spiritually connected. According to traditional Hindu law, marriage is carried out to pursue dharma (obligation), artha (possessions), and kama (physical desires).

Sexual activity or consummation is seen in Hinduism as a ritual that is performed after the wedding ceremony.

Consent is crucial to this physical interaction, and it is essential that both parties have their consent when engaging in sexual activity. However, obtaining consent for sexual activity under the guise of a fraudulent marriage promise would constitute rape and be prosecuted in accordance with the applicable section of the Indian Penal Code. Some "men's rights activists" assert that the accusations levelled against the defendant should be classified as "fake rape cases" since they are intended to establish the defendant's guilt. However, many activists feel that because these crimes are degrading the status of women in patriarchal society, they should be punished according to the law.

According to Section 90 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860

This fraudulent promise of marriage was made in order to secure consent for sexual activity. As a result, it is not regarded as legal consent and would be punished in accordance with Section 375 of the IPC. According to the second interpretation of Section 375 of the IPC, rape is punishable if sexual contact is had with victims without their consent. However, Indian Courts have begun to approach Section 375 differently and have broadened the definition of "consent." The court has interpreted "consent" in a number of instances, which is against several fundamental statutory interpretation principles. In some instances, courts have held that even though he made a pledge to marry a woman, a man cannot always be held liable under Section 375. To find an accused guilty under Section 375 of the IPC, the law must be strictly interpreted.

However, it is extremely apparent from the legislation that making a fraudulent marriage promise constitutes rape and falls under Section 375. To declare someone guilty of rape, the terms of Section 375 of the IPC required to be read broadly.

Statistically Overview

In terms of criminal law, Section 375 of the IPC provides a general definition of rape. It contains useful and applicable sections on the rape crime that are relevant to circumstances including a false promise of marriage. Numerous judicial decisions in India have increased the likelihood of rape convictions in cases containing vows to wed. It is clear from the criteria of the Penal Code that participating in sexual activity without the prosecutrix's consent is prohibited, and the accused will be charged with rape.

According to a study conducted by The Hindu, 25% of the time, the accused participated in sexual activity while establishing or dissolving a false marriage pledge.

Some Relevant Cases

In the State of U.P. v. Naushad, According to the court, the accused must be found guilty under Section 375 of the IPC since engaging in sexual activity while making a fraudulent vow to marry qualifies as "without permission" under the definition "secondly" of the section. As a result, it is the defendant's responsibility to prove that the consent was not obtained in violation of Section 90 and was instead obtained with good intentions. The accused was found guilty of the crime of rape under Section 376 of the IPC after the Supreme Court overturned the High Court's judgement.

In Honayya v. State of Karnataka, According to the Karnataka High Court, a simple "breach of promise" would not fall within the definition of "misconception of fact" as stated in Section 90 of the IPC. Therefore, the court determined that sexual activity where consent was obtained on the basis of a marriage commitment that was afterwards broken by the accused would not constitute rape as defined by Section 375 IPC. The court nonetheless classified the false promise as a fraud and did not explicitly find that it did not fall under the definition of "misconception of reality."

Additionally, it was decided that rape applies in a tiny subset of situations where the victim's agreement was obtained through deception. It must be proven that the accused individual tricked the victim into having sexual relations with him.

In the case of Uday v. State of Karnataka , The Supreme Court ruled that Section 90 of the IPC does not apply to the victim's consent to sexual activity with someone she is madly in love with if Cthey pledge to marry her in the future. As a result, the accused would not be found guilty of rape under Section 375. As a result, the court narrowed the scope of Section 90 and decided that having sex while making a marriage commitment would not be covered by Section 375. The court declined to provide a rigid criterion for deciding whether the victim's permission to sexual activity was freely granted or if it was given under false pretences.

In Deepak Gulati v. State of Haryana (2013), According to the apex court, a person can only be found guilty of rape under the penal laws if there is evidence that "the accused's intention was mala fide and that he has clandestine reasons." The defendant should have enough proof to demonstrate that he never intended to wed the victim, the court further stated. If the court is not confident that the accused never planned to marry the victim from the start, Section 90 IPC cannot be utilised to punish the guilty and completely absolve the victim of any guilt for their actions.


Rape is regarded as the most physically and morally repugnant crime in society, and victims' minds are affected for a very long time. It should be highlighted that this horrific act in society also has an impact on the victim's family. The victim experiences a wide range of emotions and physical pain. In a case where the accused engaged in sexual activity with the prosecutrix under the guise of a false promise to wed, it is a crime under the criminal rules because "rape turns a woman to an animal, as it shakes the very core of her life."

It has been demonstrated on numerous occasions that the accused made bogus marriage promises with the bad faith aim to deceive the victim. This has led to despicable situations for women in society as many females are being taken advantage of. Since there is no explicit provision incorporated in the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the accused individual believes that the law is on their side and may easily get away with their crime, and as a result, these cases are growing more and more frequently. As a result, the government must establish a specific legislative framework to handle situations in which the accused acquired consent for sexual activity on the pretext of marriage.

Therefore, when evaluating the case of sexual activity on a false promise to marry, the court should take this into account. The court should not grant permission to individuals who want to take advantage of helpless females and engage in sexual activity with them under the guise of a false promise of marriage. Therefore, the offender should be punished for committing rape in accordance with Section 376 of the IPC.


Q1. Can someone marry without the permission of their parents in India?

Ans. Yes, but for that both the parties (man and woman) must be major (man – 21 years and above and woman – 18 years and above) and in position to give consent consciously. Secondly, if they are Hindus, then they must be not in a prohibited relationship until their custom allows.

Q2. How can someone prove a false promise of marriage?

Ans. Two propositions must be proven in order to determine if the consent was tainted by an error in fact brought on by a commitment to wed. It must have been a false promise made in ill faith with no intention of being kept at the time it was made—the promise of marriage.

Q3. What is breach of promise to marry in India?

Ans. "Where there is culpability, a breach of a marriage commitment implies the duty to remedy the harm done. However, no compensation is due for the loss of whatever advantages the plaintiff would have received through the marriage.

Q4. What is pretext of marriage?

Ans. A vitiated or invalid consent is one that was provided under false pretences of engagement or marriage. It is not a situation where consent was withheld at the crucial moment. Therefore, classifying it as "secondarily" would be against Section 375's intent.

Updated on: 14-Feb-2023


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