2 Important Criminal Judgments of Indian Courts Pronounced today 29th March, 2018 with Short Notes

1. Om Prakash Mishra v. State of Bihar [Patna High Court]

Penal Code, 1860 - S. 375 - Rape - Whether the consent was on the misconception of the fact that the accused would later marry her - "Consent" is an act of reason, accompanied by deliberation. The mind of the person giving consent for sexual act weighs, as if, on a balance: the good and evil on each side. A distinction therefore has clearly been made between rape and consensual sex.[Para 19]

Penal Code, 1860 - S. 375 - Rape - There is a distinction between making a false promise for marriage which could come under the category of misconception in the mind of the victim and a breach of promise or non-fulfillment of the promise. If the promise made by the perpetrator of the crime is false from the beginning, any consent by the victim would be of no consequence. If the promise to marry is not fulfilled for reasons other than the deliberate act of the offender in not keeping up the promise after satisfying his bodily lust, it would not fall within the definition of rape as defined under Section 375 of the I.P.C. But the converse would not be true. If a false promise is made for obtaining the consent, it is rape simpliciter. [Para 22]

Evidence Act, 1872 - S. 114 - Court may presume existence of certain facts - if the prosecutrix deposes that she did not give consent, the Court shall presume that she did not in fact give such consent. [Para 35]

Penal Code, 1860 - S. 376 - Rape - Whether the consent had been obtained on the false promise of marriage - The allegation of rape in the year 2001 could not be established because of the doubtful circumstances, specially the conduct of the victim. The fact that the relationship was established thereafter continuously for four years is an evidence of fact that the later sexual acts were with the consent of the victim. The evidence about the appellant having served the victim during her troubled days and continuing with the relationship demonstrates that there was a real intention of the appellant to marry the victim. Epistolary messages, brought on record at the instance of the victim reaffirm the aforesaid fact viz. that the appellant and the victim were in absolute love; one of such letters even depicting a plan to elope. Thus, it cannot be said that the intention of the appellant was to satisfy his body lust by giving a false hope of marriage to the victim. The marriage may or may not have taken place because of other circumstances which are not clearly known. In that event, if according to the victim, the relationship continued for four years, it would be difficult to presume that it was without the consent and against her will. [Para 40]

2. Javid Ahmad Lone v. State [Jammu & Kashmir High Court]

Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 - S. 8 (a) - Life and liberty of the citizens of the State are of paramount importance. A duty is cast on the shoulders of the Court to enquire that the decision of the Executive is made upon the matters laid down by the Statute and that these are relevant for arriving at such a decision. A citizen cannot be deprived of personal liberty, guaranteed to him/her by the Constitution, except in due course of law and for the purposes sanctioned by law. [Para 10]

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