Orissa High Court acquits man serving life for rape
It is not the case that false promise of marriage was given at the inception and the victim was aware of the nature and consequence of sexual indulgence.
CUTTACK: A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel sentenced to life imprisonment for committing rape repeatedly on a woman was acquitted by the Orissa High Court on Friday. The acquittal order was issued on a criminal appeal filed by Jagannath Baithalu against the judgment of a special court in Cuttack that had convicted him under Section 376 (2) (n) of IPC on August 11, 2022.
The trial was taken up in the case based on the complaint of the victim registered at Cuttack (Sadar) police station under the heading - “Keeping Sexual Relationship with the False Promise to Marry” on April 2, 2019. The division bench of Justice Debabrata Dash and Justice SK Panigrahi took note of the version of the victim where she stated the accused was not acceding to her request for marriage from time to time between 2013 and 2019.
“Waiting for such a long period from the year 2013 till lodging of the FIR in 2019 rather shows that she was having consent for said relationship with a hope to marry him and when that has been breached, the FIR came to be filed,” the bench observed.
The bench also said, “The victim was very well knowing the pros and cons of the relation. It is not the case that false promise of marriage was given at the inception and the victim was aware of the nature and consequence of sexual indulgence. In that view of the matter, the finding of the Trial Court holding the accused guilty of commission of the offence under section-376(2) (n) of the IPC cannot be sustained,” it ruled while setting aside the trial court’s conviction order and ordering Baithalu’s immediate release.