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Ashram Manager Accused Of Committing Forced Sex With 2 Men By Giving Them 'Curse Threats': Telangana HC Refuses To Quash Proceedings

Sparsh Upadhyay
29 July 2021 8:37 AM GMT
Ashram Manager Accused Of Committing Forced Sex With 2 Men By Giving Them Curse Threats: Telangana HC Refuses To Quash Proceedings
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The Telangana High Court recently refused to quash criminal proceedings against an Ashram Caretaker/Manager who allegedly had forced sex with 2 men after cursing curse them to get paralysis and also threatened them to kill by his devotees. The Bench of Justice K. Lakshman ordered thus after noting that several factual aspects were be investigated into by the Investigating Officer...

The Telangana High Court recently refused to quash criminal proceedings against an Ashram Caretaker/Manager who allegedly had forced sex with 2 men after cursing curse them to get paralysis and also threatened them to kill by his devotees.

The Bench of Justice K. Lakshman ordered thus after noting that several factual aspects were be investigated into by the Investigating Officer during the course of the investigation.

The Court, prima facie, found that there are serious allegations against the petitioner/accused and that the offence under Section - 377 of IPC is an offence against society.

Facts in brief

The brother of the de facto complainant (respondent No.2), and his incurred losses in their business and thus they approached the petitioner and sought for his blessings to earn profits in their business.

To this, the petitioner/accused told them to do service every day in his Ashram and give donations to him, so that they would get good profits, however, one day the petitioner called them to his personal rest Room and forced them to do sex with him for which they disagreed, then the petitioner would curse them to get paralysis and also threatened them to kill by his devotees.

Thereafter, under such threat, they allegedly accepted to do sex with the petitioner/accused frequently. One day around 500 devotees of the petitioner tried to beat the victims but both of them escaped from there.

Due to life threat to them, respondent No.2 (de facto complainant) lodged the instant complaint against the petitioner.

Court's observations

At the outset, the Court noted that as per the contents of the complaint, there was sex between two adults of same-sex and the only point for consideration by the Court was whether there was consensual sex or not?

The Court noted that allegedly under the threat, the brother of respondent No.2 and his friend participated in sexual acts with petitioners and that it was a factual aspect to be investigated into.

"Whether brother of respondent No.2 and his friend have participated in sexual acts with petitioner voluntarily or forcibly and whether there was consensual participation is also a factual aspect to be investigated into by the Investigating Officer during the course of the investigation," the Court said.

The Court noted that Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code had been held violative of the right of freedom of expression and struck down the same partially, however, sexual conduct between adults of the same sex sans consent was still punishable.

"Members of the LGBT community are entitled, as all other citizens, to the full range of constitutional rights including the liberties protected by the Constitution. The choice of whom to partner, the ability to find fulfilment in sexual intimacies and the right not to be subjected to discriminatory behaviour are intrinsic to the constitutional protection of sexual orientation. Members of the LGBT community are entitled to the benefit of equal citizenship, without discrimination, and to the equal protection of law," observed the Court referring to Supreme Court's ruling in Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India reported in (2018) 10 SCC 1

Further, the Court observed that if ingredients of offence alleged against Accused are prima facie made out in the complaint, criminal proceeding can't be interdicted.

Therefore, the Court said:

"prima facie, there are specific allegations against the petitioner herein and there are several factual aspects to be investigated into by the Investigating Officer. Therefore, this Court is not inclined to interdict the investigation in the present crime."

Thus, noting that the petitioners failed to make out any ground to quash the proceedings, the petition was held liable to be dismissed.

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