Karnataka High Court Refuses to Quash a Complaint filed by a Law Intern, a second-year student at a Mangaluru College, on Rape Charges Against a City Advocate
Mangaluru: As per sources, the Karnataka High Court refused to quash criminal proceedings against advocate Rajesh KSN from Mangaluru, in an alleged rape case registered against him by a law intern. As Justice M Naga Prasanna said, “There is no warrant of interference at the hands of this court at this juncture to intervene, interdict or obliterate allegations of rape, preparation and attempt for an offence against the petitioner, as any interference by this court would be rendering plaudits to the wanton lust and vicious appetite of the petitioner. If a naive student of law enters the office of an advocate as an intern and gets to face these horrendous acts, it would have a chilling effect on the entire practice and profession. Therefore, it is for the accused to come clean in a full-blown trial.”
It should be learnt that the Mangaluru Women’s Police Station filed a chargesheet against the accused, based on the complaint filed by the law intern, a second-year student at a college in Mangaluru. After the girl registered a complaint and following investigation, Mangaluru women police filed a chargesheet for offences under sections 376, 376(2)(f), 376(2)(k), 376C(a), 511, 354A, 354B, 354C, 354D, 506, 384, 388, 389 204, 203, 212, 120B, 179, 202 r/w 149 of IPC. However, the accused-petitioner claimed there was no prima facie material to invoke IPC sections 376, 376(2)(f),376(2)(k), 376C(a), and 511, and at best, the complainant’s averments could draw section 354A.
Advocate RAJESH K S N
The complainant, then a second-year law student, had joined the office of the accused petitioner on August 18, 2021, for a monthly stipend of Rs 6,000. She claimed that the petitioner would scour CCTV footage in his office to watch her private movements such as combing her hair and cleaning her face. The accused would allegedly then send her the same footage through WhatsApp. The complainant alleged that around 6:40 pm on September 25, 2021, the accused called her into his cabin and misbehaved with her. The traumatised complainant pushed him aside and ran out. The accused, however, threatened her that if she revealed anything that had happened in the cabin, everyone would see her dead body.
As the days passed, the accused began taking certain liberties like making comments about her clothes, and the sexuality involved in such dresses. On the evening of September 25, 2021, when there was no one in the office except the girl, he called her to his cabin, pulled her hands and kissed her on her forehead. He then held her tight and made her sit on his lap and began to unbutton her dress. He also moved his hands to her private parts and started undressing himself. Traumatised, she pushed him and ran out. While doing so, the accused allegedly threatened her that if she revealed anything to anyone, she would be dead.
After hearing the parties, the judge dismissed the petition filed by the accused advocate Rajesh, questioning the proceedings. However, Justice Nagaprasanna said section 376(2)(f) makes a relative, guardian, teacher or a person in a position of trust or authority towards a woman liable for punishment if he rapes her. Section 376(2)(k) punishes a person who rapes a woman over whom he has control or dominance. Section 376C(a) punishes a person for raping a woman with whom he is in a position of authority or a fiduciary relationship.
The judge pointed out that the petitioner allegedly pulled the hands of the complainant, kissed her, forcefully made her sit on his lap, whispered in her ear ‘Love you and want to have you’, forcibly tried to unbutton her clothes, grabbed her breasts, pressed her buttocks, and touched all her private parts with bare hands. “Outraging the girl’s modesty and all other acts performed by the petitioner would undoubtedly mean intention, preparation and attempt. I decline to accept that the commission of offence should be examined by this court based on the chargesheet filed and the statements made by the witnesses,” the Judge said.
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