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Legal Weekly: Consent in a “deep love affair” is not rape & more; top judgments of the week

Legal Weekly is a compilation of landmark rulings passed by the Supreme Court and the High Courts of the country during the week. Read upon how a high court valued consent in an unmarried relationship.

Written by Sonakshi Awasthi | New Delhi |
April 7, 2018 3:42:58 pm
top judgments of the week “Renouncing a particular religion and to get converted is a matter of choice and cannot cease relationships which are established and exist by birth. Therefore, Hindu convert is entitled to his/her father’s property, if father died intestate,” said the court.

Bombay HC: Sexual intercourse in “deep love affair” does not amount to rape

After a trial court in Goa sentenced a man, appellant, to three-year imprisonment for committing rape on his girlfriend, the appellant approached the Goa branch of the Bombay High Court. The court heard the case where the woman in relationship with the appellant had filed a complaint alleging rape. Respondent contended in the petition that promising marriage, the appellant had sexual intercourse with her and later ignored her and refused to marry her thereof.

The high court, however, reversed the trial court’s ruling and acquitted the appellant stating that nowhere in the complaint had the respondent mentioned about the false promise of marriage. Further, it noted that after having sexual intercourse the first time, the respondent continued the relationship and indulged in intercourse in the future as well.

The high court, therefore, observed, “This would clearly show that there was deep love affair between the appellant and PW-1. It cannot be said that the consent given by PW-1 was on account of any promise of marriage made by the appellant.”

Delhi HC: Nikah under Special Marriage Act, divorce maintainable under the SMA

The Delhi High Court was hearing an appeal from the husband in the case who challenged the Family court’s order on divorce. The appellant contended that in 1998, he and his wife, respondent, had indeed registered their marriage under the Special Marriage Act, however, the wedding ceremony was performed in Muslim customs and culture. He further contended that the respondent adopted Islam prior to the marriage and therefore the divorce would be maintainable under the Muslim Personal Law. The Family court had ruled that the divorce would be maintainable under the Special Marriage Act.

However, disagreeing to the appellant’s contention, the high court upheld Family court’s order and observed, “The Special Marriage Act 1954 is not concerned with the religion of the parties to an intended marriage. No religious rituals or ceremonies are required from the marriage to be completed under the Special Marriage Act. It is up to the parties to decide whether they want to do marriage rituals or not. When a person solemnizes marriage under this law then the marriage is not governed by personal laws but by Special Marriage Act.”

Delhi HC: A trial court cannot impose life imprisonment without remission

A trial court in Delhi had sentenced an accused to life, serving 25 years in jail along with Rs. 25 lakh fine as compensation to the families of the victims. Upholding the conviction by the trial court, the Delhi High Court observed “The Supreme Court has repeatedly stressed that while the imprisonment for life is itself a severe punishment it should not be combined with a heavy fine.”

The high court noted that post 2016, the Supreme Court judgment in Union of India v. V. Sriharan, the apex court specifically ruled that in case of sentencing a term beyond life, 14 years, a trial court will have to provide the accused with remission.

Therefore, upholding the conviction of 25 years, the high court reduced the fine to Rs. 5,000.

Delhi High Court: Inquire into “Insensitive attitude of the officers towards the Senior Citizens”

A 74-year-old approached court after he was mistreated by police officers stationed at a Delhi police station. The senior citizen went to the police to lodge an FIR for his stolen car battery and alleged that police officers abused him and made him wait unnecessarily at the police station which, made him miss his doctor’s appointment. Although the FIR was lodged, no progress was made in the case.

The petition noted, “On the one hand the Government has enacted the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, however, the insensitive attitude of the officers towards the Senior Citizens strikes at the core of the Act of 2007.”

The Delhi High Court, therefore, directed the Police Commissioner to inquire and record stating the protocol in place for sensitising police personnel, especially, the personnel belonging to the rank of constable, head constable, ASI and SHO.

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