Breach of marriage promise is not cheating: Karnataka HC

Court quashed FIR against individual and his family members lodged on charges of cheating after committing to marry the woman

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has said that a breach of promise of marriage by an individual can’t be considered as a crime of cheating under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The individual was allegedly in love with a woman for eight years and then had married another woman breaking the marriage promise.

The court further quashed an FIR against the individual and his family members lodged on the charges of cheating after committing to marry the woman. The bench headed by Justice K. Natarajan has given the order while taking up the petition filed in this regard by Venkatesh, a resident of K.R. Pura in Bengaluru.

“It is stated that the petitioner has violated the promise of marriage. But, it can’t be considered cheating if a marriage promise is violated. The aspect of breaking of marriage can’t be included in the purview of Indian Penal Code 415,” the bench noted.

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“Criminal case could be filed when a marriage agreement is made with the intention of cheating. But, it has not been established in this case that the petitioner has broken the marriage promise for the purpose of cheating. The girl has not shown anything of that sort and it can’t be a crime under IPC Section 420,” the court further stated in its recent order.

A complaint was lodged against petitioner Venkatesh and his family members on May 5, 2020 by a woman, a resident of Rammurthynagar with the police. She claimed that petitioner Venkatesh and she were in love for eight years and he had promised to marry her. She sought action against the petitioner as he had married another woman.

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