The Supreme Court has sought the response of Karnataka government and an MBBS student after taking note of a plea of a woman seeking revival of a rape case filed by her against him that was quashed following a settlement under which he had agreed to marry her. A bench comprising justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hemant Gupta issued notices to the state government and the accused and directed them to file their replies to the petition within a month.
The petition, filed by the alleged victim, claimed that the accused tricked her into believing that he would marry her, while simultaneously practicing deceit in the form of creating circumstances, including a demand for dowry, which would force her to decline the marriage. The petition was filed by advocate Siddhartha Jha against an order passed by Karnataka High Court, which had in September last year quashed the proceedings in an FIR lodged into the matter related to the alleged rape of the MBBS student between 2017-2018, after a compromise was reached between the complainant and the accused.
The petition before the top court claimed that the settlement between the parties was based on the forcible consent of the woman extracted by the accused. The petition claimed that the high court ignored an order passed by the apex court that had emphasied that in a case of rape, there can be no quashing on the basis of settlement or compromise as the said crime is against the body and dignity of a woman.
The victim claimed in her petition before the top court that the accused, being her senior at Rajarajeshwari Medical College, Bengaluru, took advantage of the dominant position over her. According to the petition, the accused made sexual relations with the victim on the promise of marriage. However, later he refused to marry her and she filed a rape case against him, it said.
The case was later quashed as both the parties agreed to a settlement where the accused promised to marry the woman as soon as their course was completed. Immediately after the case was quashed, however, the accused started antagonising and ill-treating the woman and her family, it is alleged.
In fact, the accused has now demanded a dowry of Rs one crore for marrying the petitioner. The accused has refused to bestow any sanctity to the relationship with the petitioner and has made every possible attempt to scuttle the relationship with her. The circumstances after the quashing have made it clear that the act of marriage offered by the petitioner was a ruse to get the case quashed when, in fact, he harboured no intent to marry her or bestow any sanctity to the same, the petition alleged.