The Supreme Court Friday cautioned couples from clicking pictures and making videos of their intimate moments while also agreeing to examine if a man can be booked for rape for “moral transgressions” such as extra-marital affairs.
“Why do you have to take pictures, make videos even if you are consenting adults? It is not normal… not right. Such things create problems,” observed a bench of Justices Vikramjit Sen and S K Singh as it heard a plea of protection against arrest by a man, accused of rape by a woman who alleged false promise of marriage and also objectionable pictures and videos lying with him.
“It is not cupid but stupid…,” said the bench as it issued a notice to the Delhi Police on a petition and fixed the matter after two weeks for consideration of issues involving the case. The petitioner had an extra-marital affair with the complainant for three years. In his plea in the Supreme Court, he alleged that the two had a consensual live-in relationship since 2009, while his divorce petition with his wife remained pending. He claimed the complainant was aware of his marriage.
Appearing for the accused, senior advocate Sidharth Luthra told the court that it was a case of a failed extra-marital affair where the woman was hitting back with charges of rape although the two had this relationship for years together.
Luthra raised questions: “Can moral transgressions like an extra-marital affair be equated to rape when the woman enters into the relationship with open eyes? Can breach of promise invite charge of rape?”
At this, the bench asked him whether “breach of promise” was a penal offence under the law and also questioned if the Supreme Court has held in any case that in such relationships, which go on for years, rape charge can be invoked when they fail to work out eventually.
Luthra responded that the court has in some cases held that establishing sexual relationships on the false promise of marriage can lead to rape charge, but deception by the accused right from the beginning of the relationship will require to be proved.
Accepting his submission, the court said: “So, this will be only one factor. There has to other reasons too.”
After perusing the case records and the allegations levelled therein by the woman, the bench censured the accused for clicking objectionable pictures and making tapes of the complainant and said that all this should not be done.
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