Sexual intercourse in the course of long-term relationship cannot be classified as rape, says SC

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NEW DELHI, APR 18,
Sexual intercourse in the course of a long-term relationship cannot be classified as rape, the Supreme Court has held.
A Bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao said this was especially true if the complainant-woman herself alleged that she and the accused had lived as man and wife. The Bench was hearing an appeal against an order of the Karnataka High Court, which refused to quash a rape case.
The woman alleged that she had lived with the man for eight years.
The court order records how the woman stated that the man had “pretended to have loved her on the promise of marriage, that he applied the ‘kumkum’ on her forehead, and tied the ‘arishina’ thread to her neck”.
“She further stated that she has been treating the appellant as her husband for the past eight years, and now he is trying to escape from her and cheat her,” the apex court order said. The court said it would not go into whether they were actually married, but, “we have no doubt that they lived together like a married couple even according to the complainant [woman]”.
Ordering the quashing of criminal proceedings against the man, the court concluded that it was “difficult to sustain the charges levelled against the appellant who may have possibly, made a false promise of marriage to the complainant”.
“It is difficult to hold sexual intercourse in the course of a relationship, which has continued for eight years, as ‘rape’, especially in the face of the complainant’s own allegation that they lived together as man and wife,” the Supreme Court observed.

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