Section 375, Indian Penal Code

A consent based on misconception of facts is not a consent in the eyes of the law. In the context of a promise to marry, there is a distinction between a false promise given on the understanding by the maker that it will be broken and breach of a promise which is made in good faith but subsequently broken.

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 under Section 375.

To establish whether the consent was vitiated by a misconception of fact arising out of a promise to marry, two propositions must be established. The promise of marriage must have been a false promise, given in bad faith and with no intention of being adhered to at the time it was given. The false promise itself must be of immediate relevance, or bear a direct nexus to the woman’s decision to engage in the sexual act.”

Hon’ble Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, Pramod Suryabhan Pawar v. The State of Maharashtra, [Criminal Appeal No. 1165 of 2019].