Over 45 per cent of the total rape cases registered in various parts of Andhra Pradesh in the past two years pertain to accusations of sex under ‘false promise of marriage’.
Just as promises of marriage can be fraudulent, senior advocates say that certain grey areas in Section 375 of IPC allow a complainant to take advantage of the situation when a relationship turns sours and ends.
The AP police data reveals that in 2018 (January to September), AP recorded 739 rape cases while it was 751 in 2017 in the same period. Of the total 739 rape cases in 2018, 45 per cent (339) of the rape cases were related to ‘false promise of marriage’ while 242 cases were actual sexual assault, 137 cases were booked under elopement and 21 cases came under consensual relationship.
A senior police officer, Dr K. Fakeerappa, said that in over 90 per cent of rape cases, the accused were known to the victims. The accused were either friends, neighbours or colleagues of the victims in most of the cases. This made prevention of such crimes comparatively more difficult for the men-in-uniform as they were committed in private spaces, he added.
Stating that the woman was the ultimate victim in any kind of rape case, social activist K. Padma, said if a man was living with a woman and promised to marry her, he would have to stick to his commitment. Ironically in most cases, the rape accused were acquitted by the court in the absence of proper investigation or evidence, she added.
Senior advocate and president of the Forum of Legal Professionals, Kuppili Muralidhar, said, establishing sexual relationship with a woman on false promise of marriage amounted to rape. However, various courts in the country had expressed concern over the rise in false rape cases, he added.