The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday dismissed the bail application of an exorcist held for raping a woman who had come to him for an exorcism.
A single-judge bench of Justice Anil Verma passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Mangilal in connection with the crime registered at police station Sardarpur, District Dhar for commission of offence punishable under Sections 376, 506 of the Indian Penal Code. The applicant has been in Jail since May 22, 2021.
The applicant, Mangilal, claims to be an ojha, and the prosecutrix is a young married woman of 20. She was feeling unwell before the date of incident.
On August 18, 2020, the husband of prosecutrix and her maternal-uncle-in-law Govind took her to Mangilal in village Khamaliya. Then at midnight the applicant took them to the cremation ground and stopped her husband and maternal uncle-in-law near a drain. Then applicant took off clothes of prosecutrix and raped her.
The ojha then threatened the prosecutrix that if she will disclose the incident to anyone, he will kill her along with her family members. She did not disclose the incident to any one for 8 months because of fear and threat given by the applicant. After 9 months, she narrated the incident to her mother Kalibai and cousin Kanha. On May 20, 2021 the prosecutrix approached the police and launched an FIR against the applicant. On the basis of that FIR, a crime under Section 376 and 506 of IPC has been registered against the applicant.
Counsel for the applicant submitted that prosecutrix is a major married lady aged about 20 years. It is highly unnatural that on the date of incident her husband as well as her maternal uncle-in-law was there but prosecutrix did not disclose this incident to any of them.
Counsel for the applicant further submitted that the applicant is innocent and he has been falsely implicated in the offence due to dispute between the family members of prosecutrix and applicant.
Counsel also submitted that there is no legal evidence to connect the applicant with the alleged offence. Investigation is over and charge sheet has been filed and conclusion of trial is likely to take sufficiently long time. Under the above circumstances, prayer for grant of bail may be considered on such terms and conditions, as this Court deems fit and proper.
Counsel for respondent State opposes the bail application and supports the order and prays for rejection of the bail application by submitted that the offence is very heinous in nature and applicant has committed rape upon prosecutrix under the pretext of exorcism, misused his position of respect and confidence of prosecutrix and a civilized society.
He further submitted that two more offences under Sections 323, 294, 506/34, 427/325/923 in crime under Section 294, 323, 506/34 of IPC have been registered against the applicant prior to this incident and he is habitual offender.
“In perusal of the case diary it is revealed that a young unwell girl (prosecutrix) was brought before the exorcist by her husband and other relative for the purpose of treatment of her illness and a man who was in business of cheating to the victims of misfortune and exploiting women under the pretext of carrying out rituals of exorcism, committed rape upon the prosecutrix on the pretext of performing rituals,” the Court observed.
The statement of prosecutrix under section 164 of Cr.P.C. has been recorded in which she stated that often she felt unwell then her husband and maternaluncle-in-law took her before applicant who is an exorcist and he has committed rape with her in absence of her husband and other relatives. By way of such statement prosecutrix supported the prosecution case and it reveals that sufficient prima facie evidence is available on record against the applicant, the Court said.
“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, nature of allegation, criminal background of applicant and the fact that applicant has committed misdeeds by violating respect of a married lady by utilizing his position of respect of being exorcist of evil soul, such a hypocrite exorcist is a stigma to any civilized society, who robs the respect of innocent girl on the pretext of exorcism, in my considered opinion applicant does not deserve for bail. Hence the bail application filed on behalf of applicant under Section 439 of Cr.P.C. is hereby dismissed,”
the order said