A false promise to marry is when someone makes a commitment to marry another person but does not truly intend to keep that pledge. It is a dishonest and immoral act. The person who relies on the promise may suffer severe emotional, psychological, and occasionally legal repercussions as a result.
It is generally regarded as immoral and can result in mental suffering, shattered trust, and harmed relationships to promise marriage with no intention of keeping that vow. Depending on the relevant jurisdiction and circumstances, there may even be grounds for legal action in some instances, when it comes to making serious commitments like marriage, it’s crucial to be open and honest with one another.
The distinction between mere breach of promise and giving a false promise to marry lies in the intention and the actions involved:
Breach of promise to Marry:
When one partner in a pre-existing engagement or commitment to marry chooses not to proceed with the marriage, this is a breach of the pledge to marry. In simple words, we can say that a breach of promise to marry occurs when one party in a pre-existing engagement or agreement to marry decides not to go through with the marriage. It involves a genuine intention to marry at the outset but a subsequent change of heart or refusal to fulfill the promise.
Giving a False Promise to Marry:
Giving a fake pledge to marry includes fooling someone on purpose by making them think that you truly intend to wed them when in fact you do not. It is a dishonest act in which the individual making the commitment never intended to be married but instead utilized the promise to control or take advantage of the other party.
In simple words we can say that giving a false promise to marry involves intentionally deceiving someone by leading them to believe that you genuinely intend to marry them when you have no such intention. It is a deceptive act where the person making the promise never had the intention to marry but used the promise to manipulate or exploit the other party. This is a form of fraud, as it involves deliberate dishonesty about one’s intentions.
In the Sonu @ Subhash Kumar vs The State Of Uttar Pradesh the Court has observed:
The legal position that results from the aforementioned cases is that a woman must actively and thoughtfully consider the planned conduct before she may “consent” to it under Section 375. Two propositions must be shown in order to determine if the “consent” was tainted by a “misconception of fact” resulting from a commitment to wed. The promise of marriage must have been made in bad faith, with no intention of keeping it, and must have been a false promise.
The false promise itself must be of immediate relevance, or bear a direct nexus to the woman’s decision to engage in the sexual act.” 11 Bearing in mind the tests which have been enunciated in the above decision, we are of the view that even assuming that all the allegations in the FIR are correct for the purposes of considering the application for quashing under Section 482 of CrPC, no offence has been established. There is no allegation to the effect that the promise to marry given to the second respondent was false at the inception.
On the contrary, it would appear from the contents of the FIR that there was a subsequent refusal on the part of the appellant to marry the second respondent which gave rise to the registration of the FIR. On these facts, we are of the view that the High Court was in error in declining to entertain the petition under Section 482 of CrPC on the basis that it was only the evidence at trial which would lead to a determination as to whether an offence was established.
For the above reasons, we allow the appeal and set aside the impugned judgment and order of the High Court dated 26 September 2019. In view of the reasons which have been adduced earlier, the charge sheet dated 25 April 2018, which has been filed in pursuance of the investigation which took place, shall stand quashed. The order of the trial Court dated 3 October 2018 taking cognizance shall accordingly stand quashed and set aside.
In Deepak_Gulati_vs_State_Of_Haryana_on_20_May_2013 (1).the Court has observed :
The prosecutrix had left her home voluntarily, of her own free will to get married to the appellant. She was 19 years of age at the relevant time and was, hence, capable of understanding the complications and issues surrounding her marriage to the appellant. According to the version of events provided by her, the prosecutrix had called the appellant on a number given to her by him, to ask him why he had not met her at the place that had been pre- decided by them. She also waited for him for a long time, and when he finally arrived she went with him to the Karna lake where they indulged in sexual intercourse. She did not raise any objection at this stage and made no complaints to anyone. Thereafter, she also went to Kurukshetra with the appellant, where she lived with his relatives. Here to, the prosecutrix voluntarily became intimate with the appellant. She then, for some reason, went to live in the hostel at Kurukshetra University illegally, and once again came into contact with the appellant at the Birla Mandir. Thereafter, she even proceeded with the appellant to the old bus-stand in Kurukshetra, to leave for Ambala so that the two of them could get married in court at Ambala. However, here they were apprehended by the police.
If the prosecutrix was in fact going to Ambala to marry the appellant, as stands fully established from the evidence on record, we fail to understand on what basis the allegation of “false promise of marriage” has been raised by the prosecutrix. We also fail to comprehend the circumstances in which a charge of deceit/rape can be leveled against the appellant, in light of the afore-mentioned fact situation.
In view of the above, we are of the considered opinion that the appellant, who has already served more than 3 years sentence, is entitled to the benefit of doubt. Therefore, the appeal succeeds and is allowed. His conviction and sentences awarded by the courts below are set aside. The appellant is on bail. His bail bonds stand discharged.
Does sexual intercourse on the pretext of a false promise of marriage amounts to rape?
Under some conditions, having sexual intercourse on the pretext of a false promise of marriage may be regarded as rape in India. The Indian Penal Code (IPC), which defines rape, lays out the legal framework for this under Section 375.
Rape is defined as having sexual intercourse with a woman against her will in Section 375 of the IPC. It also enumerates a number of instances in which sexual activity is regarded as non-consensual, as when it is obtained dishonestly.
Giving a false promise to marry, lack of consent and intention these are certain requirements that are to be met, in order to consider having sexual intercourse in due of false pretenses of marriage as Rape.
The accused must have used a false promise of marriage to coerce the victim into having sexual intercourse. The victim must not have consented to sexual intercourse if they were aware of the true facts. In other words, if the victim believed the promise of marriage to be genuine and consented based on that belief, and it later turns out that the promise was false from the beginning, it can be considered a lack of consent. In order to deceive the victim and receive sexual favors, a false marriage promise had to have been made.
Remedies or Defenses Available
- When an accused person is facing allegations of sexual assault, it is crucial to assess their culpability in light of the applicable laws while also taking the facts of the case into consideration. Even while premarital sex and live-in relationships are becoming more common in Indian society, there are still some circumstances where the accused may raise a defense.
- When the victim consented to sexual activity despite understanding that marriage was unlikely, this is one example of a defense. In the case of Uday v. State of Karnataka, the accused was not found guilty of rape because the victim gave her consent while knowing that marriage was unlikely and had a deep love for the accused.
- In the case of Uday_vs_State_Of_Karnataka_on_19_February_2003
A Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court noticed the provisions of Section 90 of the Indian Penal Code and concluded :-
“The failure to keep the promise at a future uncertain date due to reasons not very clear on the evidence does not always amount to a misconception of fact at the inception of the act itself. In order to come within the meaning of misconception of fact, the fact must have an immediate relevance. The matter would have been different if the consent was obtained by creating a belief that they were already married. In such a case the consent could be said to result from a misconception of fact. But here the fact alleged is a promise to marry we do not know when. If a full grown girl consents to the act of sexual intercourse on a promise of marriage and continues to indulge in such activity until she becomes pregnant it is an act of promiscuity on her part and not an act induced by misconception of fact. S. 90 IPC cannot be called in aid in such a case to pardon the act of the girl and fasten criminal liability on the other, unless the Court can be assured that from the very inception the accused never really intended to marry her.”
In view of our findings aforesaid, we do not consider it necessary to consider the question as to whether in a case of rape the misconception of fact must be confined to the circumstances falling under Section 375 Fourthly and Fifthly, or whether consent given under misconception of fact contemplated by Section 90 has a wider application so as to include circumstances not enumerated in Section 375 IPC.
In the result, this appeal must succeed, and is accordingly allowed. The impugned judgment and order convicting and sentencing the appellant for the offence punishable under Section 376 IPC is set aside, and the appellant stands acquitted of the charge. Since the appellant was granted exemption from surrendering when the special leave was granted, no further order for his release is necessary.
- In the case of Tilak Raj vs. State of Himachal Pradesh reported in AIR 2016 SC 406, the Hon’ble Apex Court has held as under:
“19. We have carefully heard both the parties at length and have also given our conscious thought to the material on record and relevant provisions of The Indian Penal Code (in short “the IPC“). In the instant case, the prosecutrix was an adult and mature lady of around 40 years at the time of incident. It is admitted by the prosecutrix in her testimony before the trial court that she was in relationship with the appellant for the last two years prior to the incident and the appellant used to stay overnight at her residence. After a perusal of copy of FIR and evidence on record the case set up by the prosecutrix seems to be highly unrealistic and unbelievable.
20. The evidence as a whole including FIR, testimony of prosecutrix and MLC report prepared by medical practitioner clearly indicate that the story of prosecutrix regarding sexual intercourse on false pretext of marrying her is concocted and not believable. In fact, the said act of the Appellant seems to be consensual in nature. The trial court has rightly held thus:
If the story set up by the prosecutrix herself in the court is to be believed, it does come to the fore that the two were in a relationship and she well knew that the accused was duping her throughout. Per the prosecutrix, she had not succumbed to the proposal of the accused. Having allowed access to the accused to her residential quarter, so much so, even having allowed him to stay overnight, she knew the likely outcome of her reaction. Seeing the age of the prosecutrix which is around 40 years, it can be easily inferred that she knew what could be the consequences of allowing a male friend into her bed room at night.
The entire circumstances discussed above and which have come to the fore from the testimony of none else but the prosecutrix, it cannot be said that the sexual intercourse was without her consent. The act seems to be consensual in nature.
25. It is also not the case that the consent had been given by the prosecutrix believing the accused’s promise to marry her. For, her testimony itself shows that the entire story of marriage has unfolded after there is nothing on record to show that the accused had been pestering the prosecutrix for any alliance. The prosecutrix has said a line in her examination-in-chief, but her cross- examination shows that no doubt the two were in relationship, but the question of marriage apparently had not been deliberated upon by any of the two.
After the sexual contact, come talk about marriage had cropped up between the two.
Thus, it also cannot be said that the consent for sexual intercourse had been given by the prosecutrix under some misconception of marriage.”
For quashing of false promise to marry rape case court differentiate between two whether there is fake promise or breach of promise