Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High Court
Litigation News

"Unbecoming of an Indian woman" to sleep after being ravished, not how our women react: Karnataka HC while granting bail to rape accused

"...the explanation offered by the complainant that after the perpetration of the act she was tired and fell asleep, is unbecoming of an Indian woman; that is not the way our women react when they are ravished."

Rintu Mariam Biju

While granting anticipatory bail to a rape accused, the Karnataka High Court on Monday strangely observed in the order that it was "unbecoming" of an alleged rape victim to have fallen asleep after being "ravished" (Rakesh B v. State of Karnataka).

Justice Krishna S Dixit
Justice Krishna S Dixit

The order passed by Justice Krishna S Dixit states,

"...the explanation offered by the complainant that after the perpetration of the act she was tired and fell asleep, is unbecoming of an Indian woman; that is not the way our women react when they are ravished."

Karnataka High Court

The rape accused in the instant case was employed by the complainant for the past two years. It was alleged that the accused had developed sexual relations with the complainant on the false pretext of marriage. On the night of the incident, the accused got into the complainant's car and went to her office, where he allegedly raped her.

Subsequently, the accused was charged under Sections 376 (sexual assault), 420 (Cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as well as Section 66-B of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act).

Opposing the grant of bail, the government pleader submitted that the offences alleged are serious in nature, and that there was sufficient material on record to relate the accused to the commission of said offences.

It was further contended that if anticipatory bail is granted to the accused, then it would be difficult to secure his presence for investigation or trial.

However, the Single Judge Bench held that the “serious nature” of the crime alone cannot be a criterion to deny liberty to a citizen, specifically when no prima facie case has been made out by the police.

Thus, the Court was inclined to grant anticipatory bail to the accused on the following grounds:

(i) The victim had not raised alarm when the accused got into her car;

(ii) The victim voluntarily had alcohol with the accused;

(iii) The failure of the victim to lodge a complaint at the "earliest point".

"...the version of the complainant that she was subjected to rape on the false promise of marriage in the given circumstances of the case, is bit difficult to believe at this stage; there is a letter allegedly written by the complainant to the effect that she was ready to withdraw the complaint if a compromise is brought about...nothing is stated by the complainant as to why she did not approach the Court at the earliest point of time when the petitioner was allegedly forcing her for sexual favours."

Karnataka High Court

Moreover, the Court observed that,

"The version of the complainant that she had been to Indraprastha Hotel for dinner and that the petitioner having consumed drinks came and sat in the car, even if is assumed to be true, there is no explanation offered for not alerting the police or the public about the conduct of the petitioner (accused).."

While granting anticipatory bail, the Court also put certain conditions in place.

On a concluding note, the Court granted liberty to the jurisdictional police or the complainant to seek cancellation of bail, if petitioner commits breach of any of the conditions.

[Read order here]

Karnataka HC rape ( A. bail) order.pdf
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