A Delhi court has dismissed the anticipatory bail application of 28-year-old Mumbai-based journalist Varun Hiremath, accused in a rape case, observing that consent cannot be implied from a victim’s previous sexual experiences with the accused.

The order was passed by Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Khanagwal (fast track courts), Patiala House Court on March 12. In his order, the judge wrote, 

“Although WhatsApp and Instagram chats has not been specifically denied from the side of the prosecution but despite the fact that accused and prosecutrix were having loving relationship and they were being indulged in sexual explicit talks that also not going to make any difference at this stage in view of section 53-(a) of Indian Evidence Act which provides that evidence of character or previous sexual experiences not relevant in certain cases including the offence under section 376 and this provision specifically shows that previous sexual experiences with any person shall not be relevant on the issue of such consent or quality of consent (sic).”

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