MUMBAI: Declining relief to a man charged with forcing a woman to terminate her pregnancy twice against her wish, the Bombay high court observed that an amicable settlement with her is no basis to quash the first information report.
A bench of justice S Shinde and justice Manish Pitale rejected the petition to quash to the FIR by Ambarnath police station under IPC sections 376 (punishment for sexual assault) and 313 (causing miscarriage without woman’s consent).
On March 31 the judges were told the parties have amicably settled the dispute and the woman also said she has voluntarily agreed to the settlement.
However the prosecutor opposed quashing of FIR saying the allegations against the man are serious as he has not only committed offence under section 376 but even section 313.
Regarding the allegation under section 313, the judges in their April 5 order, noted that the victim alleged that upon disclosing to the accused that she is pregnant, he took her against her wish to a doctor who prescribed pills that terminated the pregnancy.
The man again took the woman to a hospital where the pregnancy was terminated against her will.
He also promised to marry her but decided to marry another woman.
“It appears from the allegations in the FIR that since inception the petitioner gave false promise of marriage to the victim and had sexual intercourse and twice forcibly terminated the pregnancy,” the judges said, adding that there is an “irresistible prima facie conclusion” of his clear involvement in the alleged offences.
While the man’s advocate relied on judgments on consensual sex, the judges said facts of those cases and the present case are distinguishable.
They said the petitioner cheated the victim since inception by giving false promise of marriage and not fulfilling it.
Apart from sexual assault, he has also committed offence under section 313.
“The allegations in the FIR not only disclose the offence punishable under Section 376 of the IPC, but also punishable under Section 313. The offences are very serious and heinous in nature. Therefore the FIR cannot be quashed on the basis of amicable settlement or on merits,” the judges concluded.