This particular decision is upheld by the High Court of Odisha through the division bench of Justice Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi in the case of Rajendra Mohanta v State of Odisha and Anr (CRLA No.462 of 2021).
The victim lodged a written complaint before the Jenapur police station wherein she submitted that the appellant and herself were in a romantic relationship for past one year. The appellant had given assurance to marry her. On 08.02.2020, the appellant took her to an open field, where he had sexual intercourse with her against her consent. However, he and his family members subsequently backtracked from agreeing for the marriage proposal.
The appellant was accordingly charge-sheeted for commission of offences punishable under Sections 376, 493, 417 and 506 of IPC read with section 3(1)(r)(s) and 2(va) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. As his bail was denied by the lower Court, he had filed the instant appeal against the said order.
The Court highlighted the value of reputation of woman by citing the following observations made by the Apex Court in Shyam Narain v. State (NCT of Delhi),
“Respect for reputation of women in the society shows the basic civility of a civilised society. No member of society can afford to conceive the idea that he can create a hollow in the honour of a woman. Such thinking is not only lamentable but also deplorable. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the thought of sullying the physical frame of a woman is the demolition of the accepted civilised norm i.e. ‘physical morality’. In such a sphere, impetuosity has no room. The youthful excitement has no place. It should be paramount in everyone’s mind that, on the one hand, society as a whole cannot preach from the pulpit about social, economic and political equality of the sexes and, on the other, some perverted members of the same society dehumanise the woman by attacking her body and ruining her chastity. It is an assault on the individuality and inherent dignity of a woman with the mindset that she should be elegantly servile to men.”
The court also stated that Considering the nature and gravity of the accusation, character of evidence appearing against the appellant, the stringent punishment prescribed and that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the appellant is not guilty of the offence alleged or not likely to commit any such offence, which is not possible to record in this case. Hence, the prayer for bail is devoid of any merit. Accordingly, the prayer for bail of the appellant stands rejected.
JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NAISARGIKA MISHRA