Is it a crime to have a relationship under pretext of marriage?
Written by Poonam Pandey
Is not establishing physical relationship under the pretext of marriage a crime? If it is so, then under what category?
Though South Korea has done away with decades old law targeting men which convicted them for having sex with women under false pretext of marriage; the same in under debate in India. Men’s rights organizations in India are demanding similar change in law in India as well though slightly different however, the women’s rights are supporting it fully.
What happened in South Korea?:
Scrapping the law in South Korea, the Supreme Court observed that it was against a woman’s interest as it treated women as “kids” and was against the principles of equality of both the genders.
Men’s Rights Organizations’ view:
Says, Virag Dhulia, founder member of All India Men’s Welfare Association, “Often this law is being misused. Having sex under false pretext of marriage cannot be considered rape. It is against the fundamental right granted under Constitution to consider it as rape and many women are misusing it. It may come under some other law, but certainly not under rape. And there cannot be any gender bias in this.”
Women too favor it:
Women activists also find it hard to believe that an adult woman can be waylaid to have sex under false pretext of marriage. As per Anjali Sinha, women’s rights activist, it can come under cheating. If two adults are entering into a relationship with mutual consent then there is nothing wrong in it. If the girl is adult then it is not possible to dupe her into false pretext of marriage. If married people can take divorce with mutual consent, then even lovers should have the freedom to part ways if things fall apart. If at times they were together, then their views can change as well. I believe it will make more of a case of cheating than rape.
What does the law say?
Mahesh Tiwari, Supreme Court Advocate, says that if a woman complains that physical relation was established with her under false pretext of marriage then after examining the medical certificate and on the basis of allegations, a rape case can be filed. Though, in many cases, the courts have dropped charges of rape taking into consideration circumstances and duration of stay, however, prima facie such matters are converted into rape cases and thus registered.