Anticipatory bail granted to rape accused on account of inordinate delay in filing of FIR, conduct of victim’s family members did not “inspire confidence”

Pratap Vs State of UP

Allahabad HC

18/08/2020

Criminal Misc. Application No. 4583 of 2020

About/from the judgment:

The High Court allowed an application of anticipatory bail in connection with the FIR registered for the offences punishable under Sections 328, 342, 323, 504, 506 and 376D of the Penal Code, 1860.

The factual matrix as per the FIR is that the victim was first abducted and later administered some drugs which knocked her unconscious. Then she was taken to a house where she was kept for a few days. At the house, she was raped by the applicant along with the co-accused, Mukesh. The applicant’s wife physically assaulted the victim and threatened her with dire consequences in terms of social backlash and the blot on her career resultant of the act. One day post this incident, the victim somehow managed to inform her mother about her whereabouts after figuring out the name of the village she was being kept in. Later, the victim was forcibly carried to the matrimonial home of Daichi, the co-accused’s wife where she was shut inside a room subsequent to her being told to marry the co-accused’s brother, Babban. Thereafter, she was raped by Babban. At that very moment, a call from the sister of the co-accused was received stating that police had turned up at her place. On 23-09-2019 the applicant and the co-accused drugged her and then took her to Farrukhabad, when somebody called up her brother who took her home. Afterward, the victim’s family placed a call to the police but no action was taken.

The Applicant’s counsel has heavily denied this version contending that the applicant has been falsely implicated in a bogus case as the aforementioned FIR is the result of an ongoing monetary dispute between the victim and the co-accused. The counsel added that FIR has been lodged after a delay of about five months as the date of occurrence is 06-09-2019 while the FIR has been filed on 03-02-2020. He has vouched for his client stating that the applicant would not misuse the liberty and co-operate with the investigation if released on bail.

The counsel for the respondent has vehemently opposed the applicant’s prayer submitting that the victim’s statement has supported the prosecution’s version of facts to which the applicant’s counsel retorted submitting that there is variation in the place of occurrence of the incident as per the victim’s statement and the FIR. As per the FIR, the rape was committed in village Alam whereas in the statement the place of occurrence has been mentioned as village Purthi.

After careful perusal of the facts, circumstance and the arguments advanced, the Court observed that there is an inordinate delay in filing of the FIR without any justifiable cause and that the conduct of the victim’s family does not “inspire confidence” with respect to the FIR. The Court also noted the complete lack of criminal history on part of the applicant.

In view of the above, the application had been allowed granting the relief of anticipatory bail to the applicant. Also, the Investigation Officer has been directed to conclude the investigation expeditiously preferably within three months.

Read the Judgment

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