New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ruled that if a woman continues to have a physical relationship with a man for a long time despite knowing that their relationship won’t meliorate into a marriage, then it won’t tantamount to rape on the grounds of the false promise of marriage.

The verdict was delivered by SC judges including D Y Chandrachud while it was hearing the rape case lodged by an assistant commissioner of sales tax against a deputy commandant of CRPF, Times of India reported. The duo, together for six years, lived in each other’s houses on numerous occasions. Noting this, the top court that they had a consensual relationship.

According to the TOI report, the complainant said that she was forced by the man to enter into a physical relationship with him on the promise of marriage in 2008. They were together till 2016. However, in 2014, the man raised doubts on the prospect of their marriage as the woman belonged to a different caste. However, they continued to be together until 2016 when the man informed the woman about his engagement with another woman. Following this, the woman lodged an FIR and rape case against the man.

The Supreme Court bench noted, “Where the promise to marry is false and the intention of the maker at the time of making the promise itself was not to abide by it but to deceive the woman to convince her to engage in sexual relations, there is a misconception of fact that vitiates the woman’s consent. On the other hand, a breach of a promise cannot be said to be a false promise. To establish a false promise, the maker of the promise should have had no intention of uploading his word at the time of giving it.”