New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has granted anticipatory bail to a 20-year-old student accused of raping his college professor, saying that the prosecutrix, a mature married woman of 35 years, was in a relationship with him for more than a year and was well aware of the repercussions of entering into relationship with someone who was not of marital age yet.
Justice Saurabh Banerjee observed that it prima facie seemed that the woman, who was "certainly highly educationally qualified" and gainfully employed as a professor in a reputed university in Gurgaon, "out of her own sweet will voluntarily chose to proceed with the (bail) applicant with open eyes, open ears and an open mind".
The court said the material available before it showed "the love, care and affection, the prosecutrix had for the applicant" and the accused, who has clear antecedents, satisfied the parameters for grant of anticipatory bail.
"This court cannot be oblivious of the fact that the prosecutrix herein, admittedly, being a fully grown up matured adult lady aged around 35 years, who at the time of coming in contact (and entering into a relationship) with the applicant herein, was a young boy aged less than around 20 years. It is also not in dispute that the prosecutrix was already married to her ex-husband, however was undergoing divorce," the court said in a recent order.
"It would not be wrong for this court to conclude at this stage that the prosecutrix was/ is someone who is having more than average intelligence and who was/ is well aware of the rights of a married woman and that the applicant had not reached marital age yet. It would also not be wrong for this Court to infer that she was/ is well aware of the repercussions of entering into a relation with such an underage individual ‘Student'," added the court.
The woman professor said she met the accused in February 2022, and in May 2022, while on an official trip to Manali, they got married in a small temple and he promised to legally marry her in future.
It was also alleged that during the period of their relationship, the woman became pregnant twice.
The court observed that since coming into contact in February 2022 till the filing of the complaint, the woman never made any complaint of any kind against the accused and no plausible explanation has been given for the delay in registration of the FIR.
"The present FIR has been registered on 19.07.2023 whereas the prosecutrix admittedly came in contact with the applicant in February, 2022 and continued her relationship with him all throughout for more than a year till the registration thereof," the court said.
Granting the relief, the court said in the event of his arrest, the applicant would be released on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and one surety of the like amount.
"Accordingly, the applicant is granted anticipatory bail in FIR No.180/2023 dated 19.07.2023 registered under Sections 313/323/376/377/506/509/201/120B of the IPC at PS.: Sector 23 Dwarka, Delhi," ordered the court.