MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Nijamoodin Jamadar on Tuesday refused to grant bail to a man, booked for raping a female police constable, and filming and uploading her obscene video on social media platforms. The bench even considered the fact that the man refused to marry the woman because she belonged to the reserved category.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by a Pune-based man challenging the orders of a sessions court denying him bail.
The man was booked in March 2019 by the Bazarpeth police station on the complaint of the lady constable that he raped her against her will. She claimed that she was raped by the accused by promising marriage.
The accused, claimed that there was a consensual relationship between him and the victim for a considerable period from 2013 till lodging of the FIR, therefore, the offence of rape is not made out. He claimed that he never abused her in the name of her cast.
Further, the accused claimed that the victim is an educated lady and working as police constable and, therefore, she cannot allege that she does not know the effect of being party to the consensual relationship.
The woman, however claimed that the accused has committed sexual assault without her consent under the threat and coercion that in case she refuses to continue the relationship with him, he will expose her by uploading her obscene photographs taken by him on Facebook and WhatsApp.
These obscene videos, the victim stated were taken in January 2019, when she had invited her to a friend's house in Kalyan.
Having noted the facts of the case, the judges said, "The accused has committed alleged offences which would not only attract the provisions of IPC, but also attracts the provisions of said SC ST Act and also of Section 67(A) of the Information and Technology Act, 2000".
"His contention that the victim was consensual party to the alleged relationship with him, and, therefore, he has not committed any offence, cannot be accepted for a simple reason that prima facie it appears that he had intention to cheat her since inception," the bench noted, adding, "A specific allegation in the FIR that he refused to marry her since she is from scheduled tribes, cannot be taken lightly".
The bench further considered the accused's conduct to snap the obscene photographs of the victim and to give threat to her that, if she refused to continue love affair with him in that case he will expose her by uploading those photographs on Facebook and WhatsApp. Infact, the accused uploaded the photographs by creating forged and fabricated Facebook account in her name, the bench noted.
"In our prima facie opinion, the impact of alleged activities of the accused is not restricted to the facts of the present case, if such activities are allowed to continue, same will have great impact upon the society," the bench observed, adding, "In that view of the matter, we are of the opinion that the accused does not deserve to be released on bail."
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