Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Allahabad High Court rejects bail to man accused of molesting minor

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The Allahabad High Court has rejected the bail application of Rinku Rajpoot of Farrukhabad, who is accused of molesting a minor, and directed him to present the appeal against the life sentence for hearing in July.

The Division Bench of Justice Manoj Misra and Justice Sameer Jain passed this order while hearing a Criminal Appeal filed by Riku Rajpoot.

The appellant and co-accused Manohar were tried together for the offences punishable under Section 376D IPC and Section 5/6 POCSO Act in Special Session Trial. Both were convicted under Section 376D IPC and 5/6 POCSO Act and were awarded life imprisonment as well as fine of Rs 50,000 each.

The contention of counsel for the appellant is that the FIR was lodged by the father of the victim on September 7, 2016 by alleging that when the victim suffered abdominal pain, he took the victim to the doctor, who disclosed that the victim is pregnant. When he inquired from the victim, she disclosed to him that a few months ago, Rinku Rajpoot (appellant) had forced her to have intercourse by luring her with money.

Alleging the victim to be minor, an FIR was lodged. When the statement of the victim was recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C., she named Rinku Rajpoot (appellant) and Manohar (co-accused) as the two persons, who had raped her. During the course of trial, as the victim had given birth to a child born out of rape, a paternity test of the child was carried out. The DNA matching report ruled out the appellant Rinku Rajpoot as the biological father of the child, but found the co-accused Manohar to be his biological father.

The trial court by placing reliance on the testimony of the victim, which was consistent with the stand taken earlier, namely, in the statement recorded under Section 164 CrPC, and, upon finding that the victim was a minor at the time of incident, convicted both the accused as above.

It has been urged that since paternity test of the child reveals that the appellant is not the biological father of the child and the FIR was not promptly lodged and there is otherwise no sign of any violence, it is a fit case where the appellant be released on bail, particularly, when the appellant in his explanation under Section 313 CrPC has disclosed the reason for false implication, which being, that the victim desired to marry one Dharmendra and the father of the victim wanted money from the father of appellant but, as the money was denied, the appellant was falsely implicated.

Additional Government Advocate opposed the prayer for bail and submitted that even assuming that the appellant has not been found to be the biological father of the child but, that, by itself, is not sufficient to rule out rape by two persons as sperm of one could have fertilized the egg. Further, what assumes importance is that the co-accused, who is found to be the biological father of the child, is stated to have jointly raped the victim with appellant and he is not the husband/lawful father of the child, therefore, there appears truth in the testimony in the victim. Hence, conviction recorded by the trial court calls for no interference.

“We have given our thoughtful consideration to the rival submissions, without expressing any opinion on the merits of the appeal, we do not find it to be a fit case for grant of bail to the appellant at this stage,” the Court observed while rejecting the bail prayer of the appellant.

The Court has fixed the next hearing of the petition in the second week of July 2022.

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