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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Delhi HC denies anticipatory bail to senior Indian Navy officer accused of rape

Judge asks: “Can he be allowed to play with her dignity on the pretext he cohabited with her just for fun and later claim she is extorting money from him?”

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 19, 2021 7:52:27 am
“The allegation she is doing all this for money rather inflicts more pain to her injury,” said Justice Yogesh Khanna in the order.

Declining to grant anticipatory bail to a Navy officer accused of rape, the Delhi High Court has censured him for alleging that the woman had filed the complaint to extract money from him, observing that he was required to show a more responsible behaviour being a senior officer of the armed forces. The court also said the Navy was avoiding replies to police queries under his influence.

“The allegation she is doing all this for money rather inflicts more pain to her injury,” said Justice Yogesh Khanna in the order, adding, “Can he be allowed to play with her dignity on the pretext 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.”

In the case registered at the Tilak Marg police station in June 2021, it was alleged that the accused, a Commander in the Indian Navy, developed physical relations with the woman in December 2019 after promising to marry her. It is alleged he later refused to marry her, and when the woman threatened to lodge a complaint against him, he threatened to upload her “nude photographs and video recordings” on the internet. In June, the woman came to know he was already engaged with another woman and had now married her.

The accused in his bail plea submitted that the woman was “obsessed with him” and wished to extract money from him. They were only friends, he told the court. He also denied having engaged in any physical relations with her. The counsel representing him also argued that there was a considerable delay in registration of the case, and he never contacted her after March 2021.

The court said that it is settled law that the delay cannot be used as a “ritualistic formula” for doubting the prosecution case and noted that WhatsApp chats show they were in contact till May 18. “The prosecutrix even filed the transcript of conversation dated 20.11.2020 between her, her friend and the mother of the petitioner to show the mother of the petitioner knew the petitioner had told her about prosecutrix and his intention to marry her. Thus, the defence taken by the petitioner that they were only friends and he never made any promise to her or she was obsessed or she is here to extract money from him appears to be factually incorrect,” it said.

The bench also said that while there is no doubt the woman is educated, that does not make her immune to cheating. “The facts do show the petitioner and prosecutrix did have such relations to kindle a hope in the prosecutrix that the petitioner shall marry her at all costs. It was not illogical for her to think so. No doubt, the petitioner is a senior officer in the Indian Navy, hence was required to show a more responsible behavior than the prosecutrix,” the order reads.

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