The Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court, while allowing the bail application of a man held on charges of rape, observed that the conversation between the wife of the accused and the brother of the victim revealed that Rs 10 lakh were demanded by the latter for closure of the case.
A Single Bench of Justice Mohd Faiz Alam Khan passed this order, while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail Application filed by accused/applicant Laxmi Kant Rawat.
Rawat sought bail in case under Sections 376/506 IPC, Police Station Hasanganj, District Unnao, during trial.
Counsel for the accused submitted that it is a case of false implication and the applicant has not committed any offence, as claimed by the prosecution.
It is further submitted that the FIR of the incident was lodged by the mother of the prosecutrix/victim on 15.10.2020 at Police Station Hasanganj, District Unnao against the applicant alleging therein that in the evening of 7.10.2020 at about 7:30 pm the victim was alone at her house and the accused, who is a relative of the victim, had entered into her house on the pretext of drinking some water and also asked her to provide a match box and thereafter after overpowering the prosecutrix, committed rape on her.
The incident was later on narrated to the informant by the prosecutrix/ victim.
In her statements recorded under Sections 161 and 164 CrPC the prosecutrix has supported the version of the prosecution as contained in the first information report. The prosecutrix was medically examined on October 16, 2020 wherein no external or internal injury was found on her and her age through the process of ossification test was determined as more than 19 years.
Highlighting the above facts, it is vehemently submitted by the counsel for the applicant that the averment of the first information report as well as the statements of the prosecutrix recorded under Sections 161 and 164 CrPC could not be believed due to inherent weakness.
It is further submitted that during the course of pendency of the bail application, under the orders of this Court, an audio recording of the conversation of the wife of the applicant and the brother of the victim and other relatives were sent for forensic examination, a transcript of which has also been filed by the applicant through the supplementary affidavit of date October 21, 2021 and as per the supplementary counter affidavit filed by the state, the forensic report pertaining to the audio recording submitted for forensic examination would reveal that the sample of voice has matched with the voice of wife of the applicant and brother of the prosecutrix as contained in the pen drive.
Highlighting the above facts and drawing the attention of the Court towards the transcript of the audio recording, it is vehemently submitted that the case has been lodged only to extort some money from the applicant as is evident from the transcript of conversation held between the wife of the applicant and the brother of the prosecutrix, wherein Rs 10,00,000/- were being demanded by the brother of the prosecutrix from the wife of the applicant for the closure of the case.
It is further submitted that the applicant is in jail in this case since 24.10.2020. The applicant is also not having any criminal antecedents and there is no apprehension that the accused applicant after release on bail, may flee from the process of law or may otherwise misuse the liberty.
AGA on the other hand opposes the prayer of bail of the applicant on the ground that the applicant is accused of committing heinous offence but could not controvert the transcript of conversation filed by the applicant through supplementary affidavit dated 21.10.2021 as well as the report of FSL pertaining to the voice of the wife of the applicant and the brother of the prosecutrix as contained in the pen drive.
The Court observed that,
Having heard counsel for the parties and having perused the record, it is evident that the factum of rape has been asserted in the first information report and fortified by the prosecutrix in her statements recorded under Sections 161 and 164 CrPC. The age of the prosecutrix has been assessed through ossification test as more than 19 years and at the time of the incident the prosecutrix was major. During pendency of the bail application under the orders of the Court an audio recording of the conversation allegedly held between the wife of the applicant/ accused and the brother of the prosecutrix was submitted and sent for forensic examination. The transcript of the conversation held between the above two persons would reveal that Rs 10,00,000/- were demanded by the brother of the prosecutrix for closure of the case. The forensic lab vide its report dated 22.7.2022, a copy of which has been brought on record by supplementary counter affidavit filed by the State, would reveal that voice samples of the wife of the applicant/ accused and brother of the prosecutrix have matched with the voice contained in the audio recording.
Highlighting the transcript of the audio recording, it is submitted by the counsel for the applicant that the case has been lodged for the purpose of extorting some money from the applicant. The applicant is in jail in this case since 24.10.2020 and he is also not having any criminal history. His presence could be secured before the trial court by placing adequate conditions.
“Keeping in view the nature of the offence, evidence, complicity of the accused, severity of punishment, submissions of the counsel for the parties and without commenting on the authenticity of the transcription of the audio recording as well as on the report of the FSL pertaining to this audio recording, I am of the considered view that applicant has made out a case for bail”, the Court further observed while allowing the bail application.
The Court ordered that,
Let the applicant- Laxmi Kant Rawat involved in the aforesaid case be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond with two sureties in the like amount to the satisfaction of the court concerned subject to following conditions:-
(i) The applicant shall not tamper with the prosecution evidence by intimidating/pressurizing the witnesses, during the investigation or trial.
(ii) The applicant shall cooperate in the trial sincerely without seeking any adjournment.
(iii) The applicant shall not indulge in any criminal activity or commission of any crime after being released on bail.
In case of breach of any of the above conditions, it shall be a ground for cancellation of bail.