Rape victim’s name in Bombay High Court order irks Supreme Court

Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday took offence to mention of a rape victim’s name in a Bombay High Court order rejecting the pre-arrest bail application of an accused in a Mumbai case.

It said the name of the victim has been mentioned in the order “which is not legally permissible.” It asked the High Court registrar to place the matter before the concerned court (of Justice A S Gadkari) “for appropriate correction.”

The Bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Uday Umesh Lalit allowed the counsel of Rais Zahir Khan, a Mumbai journalist supposedly running “Khaki Vardi” newspaper, withdraw the petition challenging the Bombay High Court’s order on January 10.

He had come in appeal against the High Court rejecting his application for pre-arrest bail because of heinous nature of crime and gravity of offence in the case registered with Kandivali Police Station in Mumbai on November 19.

The case registered by the victim under various sections of the Indian Penal Code on rape, cheating and fraud accuses Rais, married with a grown-up daughter, enticing her with false promise of marriage to establish physical relationship and even making her part with ornaments worth Rs 55,000 and then threatening her to spoil her life as a journalist by publishing a report on her.

The victim, aged 21, is also married and she had gone to her parent’s house for Navratri celebrations. She went to the accused”s house on 27.09.2017 to meet her childhood friend, who is daughter of the accused. After the friend left for tuition, the accused allegedly committed rape of the victim by giving promise to marry her.

While rejecting his pre-arrest bail application, the High Court had rejected his counsel’s plea that it was a consensual act between two adult persons and hence cannot be dubbed a rape under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code.

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