Karnataka HC Discharges Mangalore University Teacher from Sexual Harassment Case

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Karnataka High Court Discharges Mangalore University Teacher from Sexual Harassment Charge in a case filed nearly a decade ago

Mangaluru: Karnataka High Court has absolved Vedava, a teacher at Mangalore University, from sexual harassment charges in a case filed against him by a woman who was a research assistant at the university nearly a decade ago. Vedava is now an Associate Professor in the Department of Commerce at the university.

In the order dated February 23, 2023, Justice Hemant Chandangoudar said that the chargesheet does not disclose that the petitioner (Vedava) induced the defacto complainant (the woman) to have sexual intercourse by promising to marry her. The judge further said that the allegation that the petitioner had forcible sexual intercourse with her by promising to marry her does not constitute an offence under Sections 376 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The judge noted that the alleged incident of forcible intercourse occurred on June 2, 2013, and the FIR was lodged on October 16, 2014. This “clearly implies that the petitioner-accused and defacto complainant was in relation and the relation having gone sour, the FIR was lodged with an ulterior motive to wreak vengeance, and with revengeful intent,” the judge said.

Allowing the criminal petition filed by Vedava, the judge discharged him from the offence under Sections 376 and 506 of IPC in Crime No. 284/2014 registered at Bantwal Police Station. The woman studying the Kodava language under University’s Kannada Development Project filed a complaint against Vedava accusing the latter of having forcible sexual intercourse when she was alone on August 2, 2013. She had also accused Vedava of threatening her life if she revealed the incident.

After the 6th Additional District and Sessions Court, Dakshina Kannada, took cognisance of the offences, Vedava filed an application before the Sessions Court for discharge. After the court dismissed his application on June 9, 2017, Vedava filed a criminal petition before the High Court seeking to set aside the order of the Sessions Court.

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