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Himachal Pradesh HC denies bail to man accused of raping a minor [READ JUDGMENT]

By Snehal Khemka      08 May, 2021 04:42 PM      0 Comments
Himachal Pradesh HC denies bail to man accused of raping a minor

The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Wednesday, May 5th, 2021 stated that the simple sentence of "NO MEANS NO” has become increasingly difficult for some men to understand while rejecting the bail application filed by a man accused of raping a 17-year-old minor.

A single judge bench comprising of Justice Anoop Chitkara observed thus:

"No does not mean yes, it does not mean that the girl is shy, it does not mean that the girl is asking a man to convince her, it does not mean that he has to keep pursuing her. The word NO doesn't need any further explanation or justification. It ends there, and the man has to stop. Be that as it may, the victim, in this case, said no to the accused when he started touching her, but he continued. It nowhere implies consent, or zeal and desire to explore and feel each other in romantic love."

The accused, Suresh Kumar had been in custody since 18th December last year in relation to an FIR registered against him under sec. 376 of IPC and sec. 4 of POCSO Act. On 17th December 2020, Kumar picked up the minor girl, who was also his friend, in his vehicle by offering to drop her to her house. However, he changed the way and started touching her inappropriately.

While the girl said NO to him, he threatened the victim that if she started to cry, he forced himself upon her. Kumar then asked if she would marry him to which the victim responded in no. Thereafter, he undressed her and had sexual intercourse with her.

On reaching home, the victim narrated the whole incident to her mother, based on which the FIR was registered against Kumar by the Police.

It was the case of the accused that the victim in her section 164 CrPC statement had stated that she was a friend of the accused and that her taking lift in his vehicle further proved that the friendship was cordial as a result of which sexual intercourse took place with "active consent and without any force on her by the accused.".

Looking at the facts of the case, the Court reasoned that the fact that the victim revealed the unfortunate incident to her mother "prima facie points towards the genuineness of the incident.”, further adding that she would have kept it discreet because, as per her version, no one had noticed them. 

"If the sexual act was with her will, she would not have told anyone about the same and tried to conceal the same. The victim voluntarily narrated the incident to her mother, prima facie points towards the genuineness of the incident. It would be correct to say that it was courageous for the victim girl to talk about the unfortunate incident to her mother and later come forward and report the same with the police," the Court observed at the outset.

Furthermore, making strong observation that a NO MEANS NO, the Bench went ahead to observe that despite the victim saying no to the accused, he did not stop.

"When the curriculum does not include the proper sex education, the children raised by such societies fail the women time and again, the Court observed.

Denying the relief of bail to the accused, the Judge interestingly expressed special gratitude to his Law Clerk-cum-Research Assistant, Ms. Apoorva Maheshwari, for an "excellent perspective" in this case.




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