Supreme Court rejects bail granted to rape accused, directs him to surrender

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Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court today set aside the bail order of the Jharkhand High Court, granted bail to a man accused of raping a 13-year-old girl and directed him to surrender.

A Bench comprising Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant told the Special Judge, POCSO, to complete the trial within six months.

The Apex Court passed the order on a Special Leave Petition, filed by the survivor.

Anand Grover, Senior Advocate appearing on behalf of the minor, submitted,

“The petitioner in 2018 was 13-year-old and the accused has sex with her, which is not permissible under Section 375, especially with a minor girl. A love affair cannot be a reason, it is unfortunate. Not only that, she has been threatened and in fact, the accused visited her house to threaten her and she made a police complaint on that. The victim made the complaint through her mother. At that time, the accused was nearly 20-year-old. It is not the case where both are minors. Even then, under 376, there is an exemption, which clearly states anybody less than 18 years is statutory rape. There is no question of this imaginary thing of love affair.”

On the other hand, Advocate Rajesh Ranjan appeared on behalf of the accused. He submitted, while referring to the compilation,

“If I show the case file, police report and charge sheet, it be will noticed that the High Court conclusion is absolutely correct. The High Court has said that the only cause of registration of this FIR is the refusal of marriage.” Referring to the complaint of the minor girl, the counsel submitted that, she had said 3 things, one that she had an affair, two she is referring to a hotel of Khelgoan but the charge sheet has been filed and there is no record of a hotel, three she says that she has been blackmailed by the video but the video is not produced. There is no medical report which says the girl is sexually assaulted, no witness only the statement of the prosecutrix. I am on bail for 8 months; I am a student studying at Jharkhand Institute of Technology. What will happen to the boy? At the time of FIR, she was a major.”

Justice Kant replied that, the video is there not is a matter of evidence. It is nothing related to today. Can there be a witness in case of sexual exploitation? Do you expect that?

The bench while allowing the appeal states that, the Jharkhand High Court has erroneously made an error allowing the application of bail.

Also Read: Supreme Court seeks response of Centre, states on law for adherence to fundamental duties

On 27th January 2021, a FIR was registered in Ranchi for offences punishable under Section 376 of IPC and section 6 of POCSO. The complaint of the victim contains an allegation that when she was a minor, the accused took her to a residential hotel and enter into a sexual relationship assuring her to marry. The accused refuses to marry her. The application of Anticipatory bail filed by the accused was rejected by the Special Judge, POCSO Ranchi on 14th Feb 2021. The accused surrendered and sought bail. The charge sheet was submitted before the Special judge. The application for bail was allowed by the Jharkhand High Court.

It has been alleged that the petitioner had established a physical relationship with the informant on the pretext of marriage. The relationship continued for two years and later on, the petitioner had denied solemnizing the marriage. The averments made in the FIR that there was a love affair between the petitioner and the informant and the case appears to have been instituted only on the point of refusal of the petitioner to solemnize marriage with the informant.

It was submitted that the appellant’s family is regularly threatening the minor girl’s (victim) family.

Case Name- X(Minor) Vs The State of Jharkhand

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