Mumbai

Terming relations consensual, HC grants policeman anticipatory bail

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The Bombay High Court has granted anticipatory bail to police sub-inspector Amit Shelar who is accused of raping a colleague, noting that the relationship was consensual.

Mr. Shelar, who is attached to the Navi Mumbai Crime Branch, was suspended after the FIR was lodged. His lawyer, Tanvir Nizam, said, “This was a false FIR and the investigations were unnecessary and clearly motivated. The High Court has held that this is a consensual relationship and charges of rape are not applicable. This brings a huge relief to Mr. Shelar.”

The allegation

In November 2018, a woman constable with the Navi Mumbai Crime Branch, lodged a complaint against Mr. Shelar. She alleged that he had raped her at various lodges and at his residence. She said the first such incident happened in March 2018 after he allegedly spiked her drink and recorded the act, which he then used to threaten and rape her on multiple occasions.

The complainant said Mr. Shelar had assaulted her on November 13, 2018, after she refused sex, and left her with a bleeding nose and other injuries. When her husband questioned her about the injuries, she told him about the alleged abuse and lodged an FIR.

A Division Bench of Justices Indrajit Mahanty and A.M. Badar, in its order on July 25, said the complainant is a 31-year-old married woman, who has a son. “If the facts stated in the FIR and the text messages exchanged between the complainant and the accused person are considered … prima facie, we are of the opinion that the case in hand is a case of consent. Consent as understood in law is: as an act of reason accompanied with deliberations, mind weighing, as in balance, the good and evil on both sides. It means an active will in the mind of a person to permit doing of the act complained of. Will as understood is one’s own voluntary act,” it said.

‘Husband saw phone’

The court said the woman did not disclose the matter to her husband or the police despite having several opportunities to do so.

“On the contrary, the messages exchanged between the parties indicate that the complainant suspected that her husband [was] monitoring her mobile and ultimately, on November 16, 2018, the FIR came to be lodged,” the court said.

It said the report for the medical examination to determine assault was also negative. “Explanation to Section 3(1)(W) makes it clear that unequivocal voluntary agreement either by words, gesture or in the form of non-verbal communication communicating willingness to participate in a specific act amounts to consent,” the court said.

Mr. Shelar had approached the HC in January this year after a sessions court rejected his anticipatory bail application.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 12:11:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/terming-relations-consensual-hc-grants-policeman-anticipatory-bail/article28764242.ece

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