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Man accused of raping a woman while providing false promises of marriage is denied bail by the Orissa High Court.

In the case of  Rajendra Mohanta v. State of Odisha & Anr.( Case No.: CRLA No. 462 of 2021), a guy was recently denied bail by the Orissa High Court after he was accused of engaging in sexual activity against the will of a woman under the pretext of marriage. In dismissing the bail, Justice Sanjeeb Kumar Panigrahi‘s Single Judge Bench cited the Supreme Court’s finding in State of Madhya Pradesh v. Madanlal, which said the following: “No one should ever consider portraying a woman’s dignity in clay since it is a component of her non-perishable, eternal self. A compromise or agreement is not possible since doing so would be against her honour, which is what really important. It is inviolable. It is sometimes comforting to say that the criminal has agreed to get married to her, but this is just a cunning way to apply pressure. We stress that the courts must absolutely avoid this ruse in order to take a lenient stance toward the case because any kind of liberal stance must be classified as spectacular error. Or, to put it another way, it would be within the bounds of an error sanctuary.

Facts: The victim reported the appellant and herself as having been in a love connection for the previous year in a written complaint that was presented to the Jenapur police station. The appellant had promised to wed her. On February 8, 2020, the appellant led her to a field and engaged in sexual activity with her against her will. He and his family members then changed their minds about accepting the marriage proposal, though. As a result, the appellant was charged with crimes punishable by the IPC’s Sections 376, 493, 417, and 506 as well as Sections 3(1)(r)(s) and 2(va) of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. He filed an appeal in order to challenge the lower court’s denial of his release.

Judgement: The court used the following statements made by the Supreme Court in the case of Shyam Narain v. State to emphasize the importance of a woman’s reputation (NCT of Delhi),”Respect for women’s reputations in society demonstrates the fundamental politeness of a civilized society. Nobody in society can afford to entertain the notion that he can build a hollow in a woman’s honour. Such mindset is both regrettable and abhorrent. Saying that the idea of defiling a woman’s physical appearance is the destruction of the accepted civilized norm known as “physical morality” would not be an exaggeration. There is no such capacity for excitement in immaturity. a sphere, with no place for the young. Everyone must be aware that society as a whole cannot preach from the pulpit about the social, economic, and political equality of the sexes while some perverted members of the same society de-humanise the woman by assaulting her body and destroying her virginity. The idea that women should be gracefully subservient to males is an assault on their individuality and inherent dignity. It was therefore determined that the request for bail is without merit after taking into account the nature and seriousness of the allegations, the character of the evidence presented against the appellant, the harsh punishment recommended, and the lack of any reasonable grounds for believing that the appellant is innocent of the alleged crime or is not likely to commit one.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SNIGDHA DUBEY.

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