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Unbecoming of an Indian women to sleep after rape, remarks Karnataka HC

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Allowing the pre-arrest bail of a man accused of rape, the Karnataka High Court noted that it was “unbecoming” of an alleged rape survivor to have slept after she was “ravished”.

“The explanation offered by the complainant that after the perpetration of the act, she was tired and asleep, is unbecoming of an Indian woman. That is not the way our women react when they are ravished,” observed Justice Krishna S Dixit.

The Karnataka High Court made the observation as it granted pre-arrest bail to a 27-year-old, accused of raping his employer in May. The accused allegedly developed physical relations with the woman on the pretext of marriage.

On the night of the incident, he accompanied the woman to her office and allegedly raped her.

Following the woman’s complaint, the accused was booked under Sections 376 (rape), 420 (cheating) and 506 (criminal intimidation), along with Section 66-B of Information Technology Act 2000.

During the course of hearing of anticipatory bail, the single bench of Justice Krishna S Dixit expressed reservations about the genuineness of the case, a legal news website has reported.

The HC took note of the woman not raising an alarm when the accused got in her car, having “drinks” with him and waiting to lodge a complaint until next morning.

“Nothing is mentioned by the complainant as to why she went to her office at night i.e. 11.00 pm; she has also not objected to consuming drinks with the petitioner and allowing him to stay with her till morning; 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,” the judge noted.

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As the state counsel opposed the bail petition, saying that it was “unsafe for the society to grant” anticipatory bail to the offender, the judge held that the “serious nature” of the crime alone cannot be a criterion to deny liberty to a citizen.

“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,” said the judge.

The judge also asked why the complainant had not approached the court earlier when she was “forced for sexual favours”.

The Karnataka HC granted bail to the rape accused on a bond of Rs 1 lakh, while asking him not to leave jurisdictional limits without permission. He also has to report to the police station every second and fourth Saturday of every month.

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