The Bombay High Court has granted anticipatory bail to a Mumbai-based woman who has been accused of some serious crimes by her lesbian partner.
However, Justice A M Badar granted the woman anticipatory bail as the complainant, who is from a Scheduled Caste, failed to prove that the accused had committed a crime under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The accused had been denied protection from arrest last year by a trial court. She then filed an appeal against the order.
The complainant also accused her of criminal breach of trust and said that she maintained “sexual relations with her husband and with other men”, even though the two women were in a relationship.
Justice Badar said that the legality of their relationship could not be considered by the high court in an anticipatory bail application. Hence, the allegation was questionable.
What does the accused’s plea read?
According to her plea, both the women had been friends since 1997. It read, “The acquaintance developed into an intimacy and subsequently into a homosexual relationship.”
However, after the two of them had some arguments in December 2016, a police complaint was registered against the petitioner.
The complainant claimed that she outraged her modesty. It also stated that there was criminal intimidation and criminal breach of trust.
According to the FIR, she alleged that the woman had promised her that she would divorce her husband, but didn’t.
In another FIR, lodged in February 2017, she alleged that the woman had referred to her, using casteist slurs, which is an offence under the SC/ST Act.
The complainant also said that she had gone to the woman’s house to take back her gold jewellery and six dresses after she filed the first FIR. However, the latter’s husband reportedly shouted at her and pushed her out of the house.
Justice Badar noted that several complaints had been filed by both the women against each other. He said, “This chequered history of lodging of complaints and cross-complaints shows that while both women were earlier in a lesbian relationship, the relationship has now turned sour, and developed into extreme enmity.”
He also acknowledged that the second FIR was lodged by the complainant to minimize the petitioner’s chances of getting anticipatory bail.
Kriti Dwivedi is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv