The High Court of Madhya Pradesh has granted anticipatory bail to the applicant subject to him installing the ‘Aarogya setu app’ among other conditions, considering
the current pandemic and congestion of the prisons.
A single judge bench of Justice SA Dharmadhikari also allowed an amendment application filed before the Court for enhancement of section 376D of the IPC.
Section 376D of the Code deals with the office of Intercourse by any member of the management or staff of a hospital with any woman in that hospital, and states that whoever, being on the management or staff of a hospital has sexual intercourse with any woman in that hospital, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, will be punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and will also be liable to fine.
Even though the amendment application couldn’t be submitted before the Court before the hearing, the Court considered the submissions made by the counsel for the parties with regard to enhancement of section 376D of the IPC, and allowed the amendment application.
The Applicant apprehends arrest in connection with offences punishable under Sections 354 and 376D of the IPC. The applicant and the other co accused allegedly used to follow the prosecutrix, tease and see her when she used to go for answering the call of nature, and on one of the days tried to outrage her modesty.
According to the applicant’s counsel, he has been falsely implicated in the case as at the time of lodging FIR, no allegation of rape was levelled against the applicant but was subsequently, in another statement blamed him for committing rape. Even According to the MLC report, no external injury was found on her body and no definite opinion was given as to sexual assault upon her either. He added that in wake of the current COVID-19 outbreak, the detention of applicant in already congested prisons may be detrimental.
The application for anticipatory bail was challenged by the opposing party on the grounds that the investigation is pending and custodial interrogation may be required.
The Court in the current situation, found it appropriate to extend the benefit of anticipatory bail to the applicant. The bail has been made conditional to an undertaking by the applicant stating that he will follow the orders issued by the Central Government, State Government and local administration from time to time such as maintaining social distancing, physical distancing, hygiene etc. to avoid proliferation of Corona virus. The applicant has also been asked to download ‘aarogya setu app’ in his mobile phone.
Read the order hereMCRC_10658_2020_FinalOrder_22-May-2020
-India Legal Bureau