Bombay HC quashes rape FIR after victim, accused get married

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has quashed an FIR in a case of rape here after the victim submitted that she and the accused were now married and were residing together “happily”.

In an order passed last month, a bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre quashed the FIR registered by the woman last year against the man on charges of rape and cheating under Sections 376 and 420 of the IPC, respectively, at a police station in Mumbai. However, last month, the couple approached the court, saying they had been in a consensual relationship at the time of the alleged incident of rape and that the woman had registered the FIR after the man refused to marry her. They told the court that they had subsequently been counselled by their “family members and well wishers” into resolving the dispute “amicably”. In January this year, the two got married.

The victim submitted in the court that she and the accused were residing together “happily”. Therefore, the man sought that the FIR against him be quashed now and the woman told the court that she consented to the same. Cases of rape are noncompoundable under the law and therefore, FIRs in such cases cannot be quashed merely because the victim and the alleged offender subsequently consent to a compromise. The Supreme Court (SC) has repeatedly prescribed guidelines for appellate courts over using their powers under Section 482 of the CrPC to quash such cases. The SC has observed on previous occasions that the offence of rape is an offence against society, and is not a matter to be left for the parties concerned to compromise and settle. Therefore, the appellate courts must use their discretionary powers with much care while deciding such cases, and ensure the victim hasn’t been coerced into consenting, the apex court has said. In the present case, the bench noted that it seemed evident that the two had been in a consensual relationship at the time of the alleged incident of rape. —PTI