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Punishment for Cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage

Scope:

The essence of an offence under this section consists of the deception practised by a man upon a woman as a result of which the woman is led to believe that she is lawfully married to him whereas in fact she is not lawfully married to him.

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The guilt of the accused does not depend on the age of the victim with him the accused has sexual relationship by practising deception on her. A minor girl as such is not incapable of being ‘deceived’ within the meaning of this section.

Ingredients of offence:

The essential ingredients of the offence under Section 493 are as follows:

(1) The accused practised deception on a woman;

(2) The intention of the accused to practise deceit was to induce a woman (complainant) to believe that she was lawfully married to the accused;

(3) There was cohabitation or sexual intercourse as a result of the deception.

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