The Calcutta HC in the case of, Binod Banik v. The State of West Bengal & Anr, while acquitting a convict accused of rape by the trial court, observed that “No doubt it is morally reprehensible for the appellant to desert the victim lady with whom he had entered into an informal marriage after she had become pregnant. But moral indignation cannot take the place of legal proof that the cohabitation of the parties was on the basis of a dishonest representation of the appellant.The circumstances clearly indicate that the prosecutrix willingly consented to having sexual intercourse with the appellant with whom she was in love, not because he promised to marry her, but because she also desired it. “
In the instant matter, the victim and appellant were Cohabiting together and were in an intimate consensual relationship. The victim became pregnant and gave birth to a female child but the appellant did not marry her despite giving assurance and drove her away when she was six months pregnant. The accused was charged under section 376/417 of IPC.
The bench consisting of Justice Joymalya Bagchi and Justice Ajay Kumar Gupta, further observed, “In her examination-in-chief, the victim stated the appellant told her that he would marry her. In fact, an informal marriage had been entered into and the appellant had put vermillion on her forehead. They continued to cohabit as husband and wife. Only after birth of child appellant did not enter into a legal marriage and drive her away. These circumstances do not establish a case of false promise at the inception of their relationship.The prosecutrix was a grown up lady aged about 26 years. She was in intimacy with the appellant. She had sufficient intelligence to understand the significance and moral quality of the act she was consenting to. That is why she kept it a secret as long as she could. “