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While granting anticipatory bail to a rape accused, the Karnataka High Court noted that it was "unbecoming of an Indian woman" to sleep after she is "ravished".
Citing reasons for the bail order, Justice Krishna S.Dixit on June 24 noted that the complainant's claim of having slept "after the perpetration of the act" because she was tired was "unbecoming of an Indian woman".
This judgment was pronounced while allowing accused Rakesh B's application of anticipatory bail, on him paying a bond of Rs 1 lakh along with two sureties of the same amount.
The bail order of the judge cited many reasons justifying the grant of bail to the accused. One such raised a finger at the victim's moral code of conduct, stating that no woman who had been 'ravished' would behave in a way as to sleep after the act of violence was over.
The complainant's failure to explain why she went to her office at 11 pm on the day of the alleged crime and did not object to having "drinks" with the accused was also cited as one of the reasons in the bail order.
The state counsel strongly opposed the bail petition and sought its dismissal, contending that the offences invoked against the convict were of a serious nature and any lapse in letting the convict free could prove to be unsafe for the society at large.
The judge, however, 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.
The High Court not only disregarded the charges levelled against the accused but also made some damning judgments on the victim's character.
"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 a bit difficult to believe at this stage," said the judge. He further added, "Nothing is mentioned by the complainant as to why she went to the office at 11:00 pm; she has also not objected to consuming drinks with the petitioner and allowing him to stay with her till morning."
To top it all, pinning the blame onto the victim, the judge questioned her for not approaching the court earlier when the accused had allegedly "forced her for sexual favours". This apart, the court also took the existing COVID-19 crisis to note that prisoners are at risk of infection.
Meanwhile, the court has laid down six conditions for the accused to follow while he is on bail. He has been barred from leaving without permission the jurisdictional limits of the trial court where his case will be heard and will have to report to the police station every second and fourth Saturday of the month. Failure to adhere to the above rules will result in the cancellation of his bail.
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