Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High Court

Bengaluru: In a judgment that has raised both eyebrows and hackles, the Karnataka High Court observed that a woman falling asleep after being ravished is “unbecoming of an Indian woman”.

In other words, there are certain norms that women who have been "ravished" should ideally adhere to.

The observation was made while granting advance bail to a 27-year-old who is accused of raping his employer. The court observed that the 42-year-old woman’s explanation that “after the perpetration of the act she was tired and fell asleep, is unbecoming of an Indian woman”, and “that is not the way our women react when they are ravished”.

The HR entrepreneur had lodged a complaint of rape against her employee with the police on May 2 this year. Subsequently, an FIR was registered. A city court rejected advance bail to the accused on May 19, following which he appealed to the high court.

Allowing the appeal, Justice Krishna S Dixit pointed out that the complainant’s claim that she was raped on the false promise of marriage is a bit difficult to believe at this stage, given the circumstances of the case.

“…there is a letter allegedly written by the complainant herself to the effect that she was ready to withdraw the complaint if a compromise is brought about,” the court observed.

The complainant had stated that she had been to a hotel for dinner and the accused, having consumed drinks, came and sat in the car; the two had travelled to the woman's office, where he had raped her.

The court said: “…Even if (the version) is assumed to be true, there is no explanation offered for not raising an alarm and alerting the police or the public about conduct of the petitioner (when the man got into the car).

The court also questioned as to why the complainant went to office at 11.00pm. “She has also not objected to consuming drinks with the petitioner, allowing him to stay with her till morning. The explanation offered by the complainant that after perpetration of the act she was tired and fell asleep is unbecoming of an Indian woman; that is not how our women react when they are ravished,” the court observed.

But the judge's words have caused some din on social media platform. To quote a Twitter user, "If falling asleep and consenting to drink dilutes the crime - rape - then we all should be

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