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Delhi High Court denies anticipatory bail to hotel owner for running hotel without valid license

The Petition has been filed by the petitioner under Section 438 Cr. P.C seeking anticipatory bail in case under Sections 363/354- B /366 /376 /109 IPC and Section 6/17/21 of the POCSO Act registered at Police Station Dayalpur, Delhi.

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The Delhi High Court has recently denied anticipatory bail to the owner of a hotel where a 16-year-old minor girl was allegedly kept and raped for four days, after observing that he facilitated the crime by running the hotel without a valid license and not keeping records of guests.

Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar passed this order while hearing a bail application filed by Ajay Kumar. The petition has been filed by the petitioner under Section 438 CrPC seeking anticipatory bail in case under Sections 363/354- B /366 /376 /109 IPC and Section 6/17/21 of the POCSO Act registered at Police Station Dayalpur, Delhi.

The facts of the case are that the case was registered in P.S. Dayalpur on March 5, 2021 on the complaint of the victim’s father. The victim was kidnapped by accused Jitender Pal and he took the victim to a  hotel in Delhi on March 2, 2021 where he raped her a number of times.

Counsel for the Petitioner submitted that Petitioner has joined the investigation, and has cooperated in the same.

It is further submitted that he has handed over the hotel register, in which entries are made with regard to the persons who stayed in the hotel.

It is also submitted that the hotel of the Petitioner is located at Bhogal and not at Nizamuddin as stated by the victim.

Counsel for the Petitioner said that the Petitioner is the owner of the hotel and he has no role to play in bookings which are being done by the hotel staff.

On the other hand, the Additional Public Prosecutor submitted that the victim had correctly identified the hotel and on her identification the co-accused was arrested.

It is further submitted by APP that the petitioner lives at the Mathura Road, Delhi, which is also the address of the hotel in question where, according to the victim, she was raped by the accused.

It is also submitted by APP that the Petitioner in the memo of parties as well as in the affidavit filed by him in Court stated that he is residing at Mathura Road, Delhi, so the Petitioner cannot say that he was not aware as to what was going on in the hotel.

Additional Public Prosecutor said that the petitioner has been running this hotel for such a purpose where the incident took place and that too without having any license.

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The Court noted that, in the case, the rape victim is a girl aged around 16 years, and according to the victim she was kept in the hotel for about 4 days where she was repeatedly raped by the accused Jitender Pal. The petitioner, who is the owner of the hotel, resides at the same place, and he cannot say that he was not aware as to what was going on in his hotel and he cannot put the entire blame on the staff of the hotel. First of all, the hotel was being run by the petitioner without any valid license and no record of the guests was being maintained and no IDs were being taken. Had ID of the victim and the accused Jitender Pal would have been taken at the time of said booking then the minor girl would have been saved from rape.

“By running this type of hotel and without keeping a record of the guests staying in the hotel, the petitioner is facilitating crime and prosecutrix is one such victim in this case. The testimony of the victim is yet to be recorded. So looking into the allegations and the seriousness of the offence, and the role played by the petitioner, no ground for bail is made out,” the Court said while dismissing the bail application.

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