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Written by: Akash Deep (Intern)
Edited by: Anubhav Yadav (Content Head & Developer)

BACKGROUND

On February 23, as per the woman’s complaint, an FIR was filed against him under section 376 (punishment for offence of rape), section 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) and section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of IPC at Chanakyapuri police station. The complainant alleged that she was raped by Varun Hiremath at a five-star hotel in Chanakyapuri on 20 th February. The accused had approached the High Court of Delhi after his plea of anticipatory bail was rejected by Trial Court on 10 th March, 2021. The Trial Court was of the view, while rejecting the plea that it can’t be inferred from the previous experiences that there was consent between the complainants and accused. The court shall presume what the woman had stated in the evidence before the court is right and she had stated she did not give her consent for the sexual intercourse.

ABOUT THE FIR

A 22 year old woman filed an FIR against the journalist Varun Hiremath in the Chanakyapuri police station, New Delhi under section 376 (punishment for offence of rape), section 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) and section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of IPC. According to the FIR, the complainant alleged that the accused met her on “Tinder” and had developed sexual relationship with her.

Thereafter, on 20 th February 2021, they decided to meet in Delhi. They had a meeting in Khan Market after which they went to ITC hotel. As per the complaint, it was alleged that the woman was raped by the accused in the ITC hotel in Chanakyapuri on February 20. However, the allegations were denied by the accused as being “false and frivolous”.

ARGUMENT OF ACCUSED’S COUNSEL

The counsel for the accused claimed that there were incidents of sexual relationship between the complainant and the accused before and whatever has happened between him and the woman was consensual. The counsel argued that the journalist has been falsely charged in the case. The accused’s counsel also contended that they were in love since 2017 and there were multiple incidents of having sexual intercourse which was consensual. The counsel also highlighted the chats between the journalist and woman which clearly show that there was love and passion between them.

DELHI HIGH COURT’S DECISION

On April 9, Delhi High Court had granted interim relief from arrest to journalist Varun Hiremath. The Court has given this relief on the condition that he shall join the investigation whenever required.

Justice Mukta Gupta granted the relief to the journalist and disposed of his plea for anticipatory bail. She observed that “what was going on in the mind of the prosecutrix would not be known to the petitioner”. The court was of the view that the mandate of section 90 of IPC is that the accused must know that consent is under fear of injury or misconception of facts. “What was going on in her mind was conveyed to the petitioner or not is an issue required to be determined in trial”, the order said.

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