New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has denied anticipatory bail to a senior Navy officer, accused of raping a woman on the pretext of marrying her, noting that he was allegedly trying to influence his colleagues in the investigation and has destroyed the evidence against him. The high court also said the allegation by the accused that the woman was extorting money from him inflicts "more pain to her injury".
It said that the man, who is a senior officer in the Indian Navy, was required to show a more responsible behaviour.
"No doubt, the victim is an educated lady, but is an educated person immune to cheating. The answer would be 'no'," Justice Yogesh Khanna said while dismissing the anticipatory bail plea of the man in the case. The court said the facts show the man and the woman did have such relations to kindle a hope in her that he would marry her at all costs which was not illogical for her to think so.
"Can he be allowed to play with her dignity on the pretext that he cohabited with her just for fun and later claim she is extorting money from him. Such allegations if not backed with proof are rather insulting," the judge said.
The court said the investigation so far has revealed that he was trying to influence his subordinates and has destroyed or deleted the evidence against him. The high court noted that the Delhi Police, in a status report filed through additional public prosecutor Sanjeev Sabharwal, claimed that the man was influencing other officers of the Indian Naval Academy to manipulate the things causing destruction of evidence.
The prosecutor contended that since the man was trying to influence the replies from his department, his custodial interrogation was required to find out the place when and where he had taken the prosecutrix.
According to the woman complaint, the accused established physical relations with the woman in December 2019 after taking her out for dinner. She claimed that the man gave her a drink mixed with sedatives which after consuming she felt dizzy and he took her to his room at Kota House here and gave a medicine.
After sometime, she became unconscious and when she woke up next morning she realised she was raped, the complaint alleged, adding that when she confronted him, he claimed that he was in love with her.
The woman alleged that between December 2019 to January 2020, the man had been calling her at Kota House for having physical relations on the promise of marriage and thereafter, he left for Kerala.
In March this year, she went to meet him in Kerala where he refused to marry her and said he did everything just for fun and when the woman threatened to lodge a complaint against him, he claimed to have her objectionable photographs which he would upload on Internet, it said.
On June 15, the woman came to know that the man was marrying someone else after which she lodged an FIR against him for the offence of rape on June 19. The man, in his petition, claimed that they both were friends and she was obsessed with him and wanted to extract money from him and also denied having any physical relations with her.
The court said though the man's mobile phone, which allegedly contained pictures and videos of the woman, could be handed over to the Investigating Officer, a bare perusal of the sessions court order showed that he deleted the electronic record in the form of chats, text messages and Facebook messages/chats exchanged between the parties.
"This act of the petitioner (man) rather reflects his intention to cover up his wrongs by erasing the relevant electronic record/data, which would otherwise have given a true picture of the facts," it said. The high court refused to interfere with the trial court order declining anticipatory bail to the man at this stage.
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