Rakesh V. State of Karnataka
W.P(CRIMINAL) NO. 2427 of 2020
Granting anticipatory bail to the accused of a rape case, Justice Krishna S Dixit of the Karnataka High court had also commented on the victim’s conduct. In the order passed on June 22nd, the judge had questioned “why she went to her office late at night” and had also remarked on her not objecting to consumption of alcohol. The order had also raised concerns among the legal fraternity and civil society for the statement “the explanation offered by the complainant that after the perpetration of the act she was tired and fell asleep, is unbecoming of an Indian woman; that is not the way our women react when they are ravished”.
An open letter condemning the judgement was addressed to the court by several women’s rights activists, individuals and groups. Further, an application was made on behalf of the state by Nageshwarapa.In response, the judge has expunged the controversial part of the initial order and has passed a revised order.
Additionally an open letter was also addressed to the Chief Justice of India, Justice SA Bobde and Supreme Court Judges, Justice Indu Malhotra, Justice R.Banumathi and Justice Indira Banerjee, requesting the apex court to direct high courts and subordinate courts to refrain from commenting on the conduct of a victim of sexual abuse.
The revised order also clarifies that the controversial comments now expunged, shall not affect the investigation process.