On Tuesday, the Karnataka High Court granted bail to a rape accused man saying that it was “unbecoming of an Indian woman” to sleep after she is “ravished.”
Giving reasons for the bail order, the judge 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”. “That is not the way our women react when they are ravished,” the judge said, in the short order.
In the bail order, another reason mentioned the complainant’s failure in explaining 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.
However, the court asked the accused to follow six conditions while on bail. If he violated any one of the conditions his bail would be cancelled.
Moreover, the accused bail was strongly opposed by the state council. It stated that there was sufficient evidence to prove that the accused is guilty and that the accused has done a serious crime.
However, the judge responded that the “serious nature” of the crime alone can not be the basis of proving the accused person’s charges. Adding it said that they cannot deny liberty to a citizen, specifically when no “prima facie” case has been made out by the police.
He also questioned the complainant for not approaching the court earlier when the rape accused had allegedly “forced her for sexual favours”.
“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.
This apart, the court also took the existing Covid-19 crisis to note that prisoners are at risk of infection. It applied the principle of “bail is rule and denial is an exception” to allow the petitioner’s plea.