Allahabad High Court has denied anticipatory bail to a rape accused, who allegedly establish a physical relationship with the victim on an alleged false promise of marriage, after briefly meeting her through a dating site. The Allahabad High Court recently observed that ‘dating sites are not an indication to have a judgment on anybody’s virtues.’
This bail was rejected by the Bench of Justice Vivek Agarwal rejecting arguments raised by the counsel for the petitioner/accused, who sought to draw a presumption as to the easy virtue of the victim/woman while trying to derive the theory of consensual sex.
The Court was hearing the third Anticipatory Bail Application filed by the applicant in terms of the liberty granted by the Supreme Court, noting that there was non-appreciation of the facts on merit by the High Court, which the petitioner wished to press for consideration.
The alleged victim and alleged accused met through a dating site, and within few days have consensual physical relations. According to the woman, she was allegedly promised marriage, after which the accused had sexual intercourse with her. However, according to her, the accused resiled from his promise leading to the registration of the instant case against him by the woman/victim.
Arguments by Accused Man
The counsel for the bail applicant submitted that the victim and the accused met on a dating site on July 28, 2019, and on August 2, 2019, for the first time, the victim had met the applicant. Further, on August 04, 2019, the applicant took her to a Hotel in Noida, discussed marriage, and entered into a physical relationship with her.
Reading this fact, it was submitted that within four days of their meeting, the establishment of a physical relationship by the victim demonstrated that it was a case of consensual sex.
The counsel emphasised that there was no talk of marriage between the two and therefore, the allegation that they had indulged in a physical relationship in the name of the marriage proposal, was not made out.
Allahabad High Court
The high court rejected the primary argument of the counsel of the bail applicant that it was a case of consensual sex. The Court, at the outset, observed thus,
Dating sites are not an indication to have a judgment on anybody’s virtues. Merely, two adults meet on a dating site, and on the third day of meeting him, exchange of words are able to garner confidence that the other party is willing to marry and in the name of marriage, if physical favour is sought, then that will not amount to characterizing a victim, as a person of easy virtues having consented to physical relationship without there being any provocation like promise to perform marriage.
The high court then observed the chats submitted in court, dated July 28, 2019, where the court noted that inquiring about the family status of the applicant and then about the birth date, etc., so also inquiry about personal habits like smoking and drinking, etc. are sufficient indications that there was something more than a physical relationship in the mind of the victim. The court noted,
It is true that there is no direct reference to the marriage proposal, but exchange of words showing affection and admiration for a newly met couple without making mention of marriage in the chat does not meant that the allegation of seeking favour without there being any promise of marriage can be deduced from the mobile chat, produced by learned Senior Advocate on record.
Lastly, noting that a Co-ordinate Bench had extended benefit of anticipatory bail only till filing of the charge sheet, and taking into account the fact that the applicant had failed to surrender after the expiry of interim protection extended in his favour, the Court refused his bail plea. While dismissing the applicant’s pre-arrest bail plea, the court said,
I am of the opinion that applicant having failed to surrender after expiry of interim protection, extended in his favour, by a Coordinate Bench on 13.02.2020 till the submission of the police report and has not appeared before the court concerned despite submission of police report and there being no mention of fact, as to when applicant has received notices in regard to submission of police report.
When an adult woman voluntarily goes to a hotel within barely few days of knowing the other person, can the man be charged with rape if he refuses to marry the woman? Rape on Pretext of Marriage law is being highly misused by many women, supported by courts, where the man is compelled to get married or face jail. Many of such cases also result into monetary settlements.
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