Madurai, Mar 8: Bringing an end to a 15-year-old case of consensual sex with a woman on the false promise of marriage, the Madras High Court has compounded the offence after the accused agreed to bear the expenses of their child till he turns 18.
Allowing an appeal by the man, Justice M Sathyanarayanan set aside his conviction and punishment after he agreed to deposit Rs 50,000 in the name of the boy born to them in 2000 and bear his expenses till he attained the age of 18.
The criminal appeal was filed in the principal seat of the high court in Chennai in 2003 and transferred to the bench here the next year. The judge recorded the submission of the victim who agreed to compound the offence as the convict had agreed to bear the monetary expenses of their son.
The man was booked under IPC 417 (punishment for cheating) after he did not honour his promise to marry the woman after having consensual sex.
A sessions court convicted him for cheating and imposed a year of rigorous imprisonment besides ordering a compensation of Rs 25,000.
The high court had suspended the sentence while admitting the appeal. During the pendency of the appeal, he married another woman and the couple had three children. Similarly the victim woman also married another man and they had a girl child.
She was also taking care of the boy, whose father was the convict. The convict agreed to bear the expenses towards educational and other needs of the boy, now 15, till he was 18.
Following this, the judge set aside the conviction as well as sentence, but warned that the man might have to face contempt of court proceedings if he failed to abide by the undertaking given by him to the court.