German tourist rape: SC upholds conviction of Bitti Mohanty, son of former Odisha DGP

The apex court directed Bitti to surrender before the jail authorities within two months, before June 5.
Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India Photo | PTI

The Supreme Court has upheld the Rajasthan High Court's verdict of a seven-year jail sentence to Bitti Hottra Mohanty, son of Odisha's former DGP Bidya Bhushan Mohanty, for raping a German tourist in Alwar in Rajasthan in 2006.

A two-judge bench of the top court, led by Justice JK Maheshwari and also comprising Justice Sanjay Karol, did not find any merit in the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by Bitti, who had moved the SC challenging his seven-year jail sentence ordered by the Rajasthan HC in the case.

While his SLP was pending before the SC, Bitti was granted bail on March 31, 2017. The apex court directed him to surrender before the jail authorities within two months, before June 5.

According to the prosecution, Bitti was involved in the rape of a German national (tourist) in Alwar, Rajasthan. Bitti was primarily convicted by the Fast Track Trial Court Alwar within 15 days of his arrest on April 12, 2006 and also by the Rajasthan HC upholding his conviction on October 4 in the same year.

The Rajasthan government, represented by Shiv Mangal Sharma, the Additional Advocate General (AAG) had in his argument said that Bitti's conviction should be upheld by the SC, keeping in view his brutal role in raping a German national. "It is a serious crime against a foreigner. The Rajasthan government is very committed in combating crimes against women and protecting the rights and safety of foreign nationals in India," Sharma argued.

"This landmark ruling by the Supreme Court not only brings justice to the victim but also sends a strong global message about India's stance on women's safety and its zero tolerance policy towards violence against women. The SC verdict reinforces the notion that the Indian judicial system, supported by diligent representation and government backing, is dedicated to upholding justice, especially in cases that attract international attention and concern," Sharma told The New Indian Express.

Bitti's lawyer, Narender Hooda, argued before the court that his client was innocent and was framed in the case. "No rape took place, as it was consensual," he said.

When Bitti was serving his seven-year jail sentence, given by the lower court, he was given parole for 15 days based on his mother's illness on November 20, 2006. As per the parole order, he had to go back to jail on December 4, 2006, but the accused escaped, while being on parole.

Bitti was again arrested on October 16, 2014. The lower court sentenced him to three months imprisonment in connection with his absconding during his parole period. The court had asked him to serve a three-month sentence after completing his sentence in the rape case.

Bitti again challenged this order in the High Court and said that both sentences should be run together, but the court rejected his petition in 2017.

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The New Indian Express