Punjab: A man from Punjab accused of rape was granted freedom by the Supreme Court on Wednesday on the sole condition that he would marry the complainant within the span of six months. He was released with a warning given by the bench, that if he did not prove himself to be a man of his words, then he would be detained immediately.
The man was charged with rape and cheating by a woman whom he had met in Australia in 2016. Both of them had been studying there then. The man was Jat Sikh, upper-caste while the woman belonged to the scheduled caste. They were apprehensive of the man’s parents for approving their marriage. He convinced her to enter into a relationship with him, by assuring her that he would persuade his parents with regards to their relationship. Things changed when the man moved to Amritsar in 2018, and the woman had to fly there to meet him. This continued till July 2019 when the man informed the woman about his parents’ disapproval of their marriage.
This urged the woman to file a complaint with the NRI Wing of Punjab Police accusing the man of rape and cheating. After primary investigation, the FIR was lodged and the man was summoned to court.
Asserting that the relationship was consensual, the man sought to defend himself from the arrest but his threats to the woman about publishing her images online if she did not withdraw the FIR, made the Punjab and Haryana Police determined to file the case against him.
However, advocate Shakti Paul Sharma managed to finally make a compromise on behalf of the man with the bench stating that his client would get married to the complainant within six months and travel back to Australia. The bench agreed to grant the bail only when the marriage was successfully done away with. But due to the flight restrictions for Australia owing to the pandemic situation, the court relieved the man’s arrest and held the woman a party to the matter. The case has been adjourned and the next hearing is scheduled four weeks later.