New Delhi (ILNS): The Himachal Pradesh High Court, while dealing with an anticipatory bail application filed by a proclaimed offender in a rape case, has held that Section 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) neither creates any riders nor imposes any restrictions in the filing of anticipatory bails by proclaimed offenders.
While granting the anticipatory bail to the Petitioner, Justice Anoop Chitkara observed: “While deciding bail Applications, the Courts should discuss evidence relevant only for determining bail. The difference in the order of bail and the final judgment is similar to a sketch and a painting. However, some sketches are in detail and paintings with a few strokes.”
“The petitioner shall neither stare, stalk, make any gestures, remarks, call, contact, message the victim, either physically, or through phone call or any other social media, nor roam around the victim’s home. The petitioner shall not contact the victim,” the Court imposed as one of the conditions while allowing the bail application.
A 15-year-old girl, in her complaint to the Police, had alleged that the Accused had made physical relations with her in May 2013 by entering her home and again raped her in the forests.
After going through all this the Apex Court had held “Normally, when the accused is “absconding” and declared as a “proclaimed offender”, there is no question of granting anticipatory bail. We reiterate that when a person against whom a warrant had been issued and is absconding or concealing himself in order to avoid execution of warrant and declared as a proclaimed offender in terms of Section 82 of the Code is not entitled the relief of anticipatory bail.”
The incident happened on June 30, 2013, when she was returning from school. On the basis of the complaint, the Police registered a case against him under Sections 376, 506 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, on July 19, 2013.
The Police filed a chargesheet without arresting the Accused, and after taking cognizance of the offence, the Court issued non-bailable warrants against the Accused. However, the Court declared him a proclaimed offender under Section 82 of the CrPC.
The Court observed that, “An analysis of the entire allegations creates a possibility of the accused smitten by love, became melancholic, and left the area before the registration of an FIR. After that, compelled by the lockdown, and fear created by the pandemic, returned home, where, for the first time, he came to know about the FIR and already declared as a proclaimed offender cannot be ruled out. Thus, the circumstances cannot be termed as normal for the Accused, and he makes out a special case for bail.”
In his bail plea, the Petitioner contended that he and the victim were in love. To make out an exceptional case, his plea further states “on noticing that the girl had an affair with someone else, it broke his heart. Feeling ignominious, he became melancholic and on June 20, 2013, left for a distant place, far away from her.”
The Petitioner contended that due to the lockdown, he was forced to return home and got information that his girlfriend had lodged an FIR against him, and he was declared a proclaimed offender.
Read the judgment here;Mahender-Kumar-v-State-of-Himachal-Pradesh