Former All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam minister M Manikandan on Wednesday got conditional bail from the Madras High Court in a rape case, Live Law reported.
The complainant, an actor, had accused Manikandan of cheating her after being in a live-in relationship with her for years. She alleged that the former minister promised to marry her and got her pregnant thrice. He had also allegedly forced her to get abortions and threatened her family members when she insisted on getting married.
She filed a complaint against the minister in May, after which Manikandan was booked for rape, causing miscarriage without consent and criminal intimidation. The court had provided Manikandan interim protection from arrest from June 3 to 9 but rejected his request for anticipatory bail on June 16, according to the Hindustan Times. He was arrested in Bengaluru on June 20.
However, on Wednesday, the Madras High Court noted that the sexual relationship between the two was consensual and the woman knew that Manikandan was already married.
“The defacto complainant was well aware of the consequence that the marriage between her and the petitioner would not take place,” Justice M Nirmal Kumar said, according to Live Law. “Thus leading to the inference that she freely, voluntarily and consciously consented to have sexual intercourse with the petitioner and her consent was not in consequence of any misconception of fact and they were living together as man and wife”.
The judge pointed out that there was a clear difference between rape and consensual sex. “The defacto complainant had shown no resistance to the petitioner’s overtures,” the judge added. “Thus, freely exercised a choice between resistance and assent.”
While granting bail, the court directed the former minister to submit two sureties of Rs 10,000 and surrender his passport. The court also ordered Manikandan to appear before the police every day for two weeks and after that, whenever he is called.