Incarceration of a young boy for an indefinite period would be the antithesis to the concept of liberty, the Bombay high court (HC) said on Tuesday, while granting bail to an engineering graduate from Pune who was arrested for allegedly raping his friend.
Justice Bharati Dangre has ordered the 25-year-old man to be released on a personal bond of ₹50,000 and one or two sureties in the same amount.
The Pune resident was booked by Paud police station for raping his friend when a group of classmates had visited Amby Valley, near Lonavala in October 2019. The victim complained that the accused tried to force himself upon her when they stayed at a bungalow, during the night.
Counsel for the accused, advocate Abhinav Chandrachud, however, maintained that it was a consensual act. He pointed out that the incident allegedly took place in the night of October 28, but the complainant disclosed the incident to her friends accompanying them a day after when they were about to depart. He added that the offence was registered belatedly on November 8, 2019, and the accused was arrested on December 16.
Justice Dangre, however, refused to accept that the delay was indicative of the fact that the prosecution’s case was false.
The judge said, “There cannot be a formula as to how a woman will react to an act of outrage by a male, since all women are borne into different circumstances in life, go through different things and face, experience and react differently. Each woman would turn out to be different from the other.”
The judge said that the long-lived notion expressed in the words of Warren Buffet, ‘if a lady says no, she means maybe’ or in the expression of Rich Santos for Marie Claire – ‘changing nos to yeses’, were old tricks.
“Whether the girl consented freely for a physical indulgence has to be searched by applying new standards of modern life and the present social scenario,” said the judge.
The court, however, granted bail to the engineering graduate after noticing that at least two friends of the survivor have revealed in their statements to the police that they had seen the survivor and the accused having slept together in a bedroom.
The court also took into consideration that the 25-year-old was languishing in jail for over seven months and there was no likelihood of him fleeing, as he was a permanent resident of Pune and his father runs a business of manufacturing and engineering goods.