The Kerala High Court while granting bail to a health worker accused of raping a woman who had come to him for getting a COVID negative certificate, directed the Director General of Police to take appropriate action against the victim who deposed that it was consensual sex.
The previous two bail applications were dismissed by the Court and he was in jail for about 77 day. The Court was disposing the third bail application of the health worker.
In the case that the accused did not rape her and that it was a consensual sex, referring to the affidavit filed by the victim;
Justice P V Kunhikrishnan observed that,
“I am surprised, after reading this affidavit. The registration of the above case was widely covered by the media in the State. Almost all the people in Kerala know about this case. The allegation is that a Health Inspector committed rape on a lady when she approached him for getting certificate for Covid19 negative. After reading the first information statement given by the victim, this Court also refused bail to the petitioner because the allegation in the statement was so serious. She even stated that her both hands were tied at her back and the mouth was blocked with a dhoti. Thereafter there was a forceful rape. Now this victim is deposing before this Court in a notary attested affidavit that there is no such incident and it was a consensual sexual intercourse. It is stated in the affidavit that she gave such a statement to the police because of the pressure from her relatives.”
The Court noted that, if a statement in the affidavit is accepted, the accused is in illegal custody for last 77 days. Court added, the allegation in the FI statement in this case tarnished the image of health-workers in the state.
“This should be taken very seriously. Nobody should make such false complaint against a person. The petitioner was working as a Junior Health Inspector. Hundreds and hundreds of health workers are working in the State against the pandemic Covid-19. In such a situation, it even affected their morale. Now this victim is coming before this Court and saying that it was a consensual sexual intercourse and there was no forceful sex as stated in the FI statement. The personal liberty of a citizen is his fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. This is a fit case in which the petitioner should be released on bail forthwith. Not only that, according to me, the contents of the affidavit is to be looked into by the Director General of Police of the State and take appropriate action in accordance to law against the alleged victim or relatives of the victim in accordance to law. If sexual intercourse was with the consent of a lady, no prima facie case is made out. Admittedly the victim in this case is major. Of course, the action of the petitioner may not be acceptable morally but that is not a reason to punish him like this. The allegation in the first information statement in this case tarnished the image of health workers in the state. If anybody is responsible for the same, the law of the land should act swiftly.”
“The criminal justice delivery system cannot go like this. Based on a false complaint, a person is in jail for about 77 days. This Court cannot shut its eye in such situations. The Director-General of Police should take this case very seriously and do the needful and file a report based on the enquiry before the Registrar General of this Court within three months. I make it clear that the enquiry officer will conduct the enquiry untrammelled by any observations in this order.” The judge further ordered while granting the bail to the accused.