“Art of Living” man gets breather in rape accusation
Women who allege rape “in a fit of rage” and later withdraw complaints should be prosecuted, Bombay High Court (HC) noted. It said the trend had sent a wrong signal to society. The court was hearing an anticipatory bail plea (Number – ABA/807/2013) by Divyesh Vala (35), accused of raping and cheating a 42-year-old central excise inspector after allegedly promising to marry her.
The divorcees met at an Art of Living class and were in a relationship for a year until Vala married another woman named Divya on May 18.
On June 6, the excise inspector lodged a complaint at Rafi Ahmed Kidwai (RAK) Marg Police Station vide CR # 168/2013 under sections 376 & 417 of the Indian Penal Code. She said she had sexual relations with Vala as he promised marriage.
While granting him anticipatory bail, Justice Smt. Sadhana Jadhav said, “Despite all sympathies for the complainant, the applicant cannot be sent to custody as it would not serve a fruitful purpose except satisfying vendetta of the complainant.”The judge said after filing a complaint of rape, women withdraw or say they have forgiven the accused. It is in a fit of rage that they approach police. We feel helpless we can only criticise and do nothing. They should be prosecuted.”
Justice Jadhav, however, gave a patient hearing to the complainant who addressed the court in Marathi. She said she met Vala, an advanced Art of Living instructor, in May 2012 and was impressed. They got close and developed a physical relationship. She said she always insisted on marriage but Vala made hollow promises. She alleged he had made similar promises to other women as well.
“Do you see now what happens when you trust someone blindly? In this day and age….you are an educated woman from a good profession. You should keep your eyes open. You cannot blame others. What is the use of Art of Living if you cannot judge people?” HC said.
Ashok Mundargi, counsel for Vala, said his client did not deny the relationship with the complainant but it could not be sustained and he married another woman. Justice Jadhav said: “We are worried as it has a different impact on society. It is very unfortunate but who can be blamed?”
HC also said it cannot be oblivious to the fact that the complainant could be in a commanding position as she is older than the accused and in a government job, while the accused works in a private company. The court, however, asked Vala to attend RAK Marg Police Station every Sunday morning.
Click HERE to read the order of the High Court.