Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court has observed that being active on dating websites cannot be a parameter to judge someone’s virtue.
This assertion from the court came in response to an argument raised by the counsel for the accused applicant, who sought to presume that the woman was of easy virtue.
The court denied anticipatory bail to a rape accused, who allegedly established physical relationship with a woman on the false promise of marriage after meeting her on a dating site.
In the case, the victim and the accused had met on a dating site and allegedly, on the false promise to marry, the accused had sexual intercourse with her. Thereafter, he went back on his promise and the woman lodged a case against him.
It was submitted on behalf of the applicant that he and the victim met on a dating site. In view of this fact, it was submitted that within four days of their meeting, the establishment of physical relationship by the victim demonstrated that it was a case of consensual sex.
It was also argued that there was no talk of marriage between the two and, therefore, the allegation that they had indulged in physical relationship in the name of marriage proposal was not made out.
Declining to take into consideration the theory of consensual sex advanced by the applicant’s counsel, the court observed: “Dating sites are not an indication to have judgment on anybody’s virtues. Merely, two adults meet on a dating site, and on the third day of meeting him, exchange of words are able to garner confidence that the other party is willing to marry and in the name of marriage, if physical favour is sought, then that will not amount to characterising a victim, as a person of easy virtues having consented to physical relationship without there being any provocation like promise to perform marriage.”
While rejecting the anticipatory bail application of one Abhay Chopra of Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), Justice Vivek Agarwal said that the applicant is free to surrender before the court below and participate in the court proceedings.
“He may also, if advised, apply for regular bail, which the court concerned shall consider on its own merits, without getting prejudiced from the order passed here,” the court added.