Woman’s companionship does not imply sexual consent: Delhi HC

A “spiritual guru” accused of raping a Czech woman under the guise of helping her perform her husband’s post-mortem rituals was denied bail by the Delhi High Court on Tuesday. The accused sexually assaulted the woman on October 12, 2019, at a hostel in Delhi, on January 31, 2020, in Prayagraj (Allahabad), and on February 7, 2020, in Gaya (Bihar). The accused claimed that the FIR was only registered on March 6, 2022 at Delhi and that the prosecutrix did not file any complaints or FIRs at the other locations where she claimed she was sexually assaulted. Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani noted that the prosecutrix traveled with the petitioner to perform her husband’s last rites and rituals, and that she became dependent on the petitioner to bring closure to her tragedy. The most important details in this text are that the travel to the aforementioned places took almost 4 months and that the alleged sexual liaisons were consensual.

The court also noted that the petitioner pretended to be a “holy man” guiding a foreign national through pious post-death ceremonies. Finally, the court dismissed the bail plea, allowing the prosecutrix to reapply to the trial court after all prosecution witnesses are deposed. Advocates Krishan Kumar, Shivam Bedi, SP Nangia, and Gargi Singh represented the bail applicant. State Additional Public Prosecutor Tarang Srivastava appeared. Prosecutor Ashutosh Kaushik represented her.

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