BHUBANESWAR: A 32-year-old man, charged with raping a 22-year-old woman last year, married the victim at the Special Jail, Bhubaneswar here on Wednesday.
Dilip Behera, a driver by profession, is currently facing trial for rape. He had told the trial court last week that he wanted to marry the victim.
The court of Additional Sessions Judge Anand Chandra Behera had recorded his statement and following a petition from both the sides, he observed that both the accused and victim had fundamental rights to marriage which cannot be taken away.
Accordingly, the court had directed the Prisons Directorate to organise the marriage on a suitable date. "We had received the instruction of the court to organise the marriage and we abided by that," ADG, Prisons Pradeep Kapur said.
According to advocate Srimanta Samantray, who was specially engaged to help public prosecutor PK Das in the case, Dilip had submitted a petition to the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) through jail authorities seeking legal aid to marry the victim.
"During the trial during January 21-22, he told the court that he wanted to marry the woman and submitted a petition before the DLSA in this connection," Samantray told this paper, adding that the court recorded his statement. Since the girl's family also agreed to the proposal, both sides submitted petitions and the court directed the prison administration to arrange a suitable date on which the marriage can be solemnised.
As per the court order, Wednesday was chosen as the date and the wedding was conducted as per Hindu rituals in presence of both families.
Dilip's lawyer Prafulla Kumar Sahoo said family of his client and that of the victim's agreed to the proposal following which the matter was taken forward. Dilip wanted to make amends for his act and give social recognition to the victim through marriage, he said, adding that the court has directed to produce the wedding photos and CD as proof on January 30.
"Marriage would give us social recognition. I agreed to the proposal after I was convinced that he would take care of me," the victim told mediapersons after the marriage was solemnised on the jail premises.
A little above a year back, on January 23 last year, Dilip had allegedly raped the 23-year-old woman who was waiting for a bus to Giringiputa of Mendhasala gram panchayat. Dilip, who was driving a truck, offered her a lift near Deras under Chandaka police station limits and took her to a deserted place where he raped her. A case under Section 376 and 506 of the IPC was lodged and Dilip was arrested.