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“Keeping in view the age of the victim and she having been allegedly put into fear of life, the delay in lodging the FIR can be said to be explainable during trial”, the bench noted.
The Himachal Pradesh High Court recently denied bail to two men who were accused of raping their employer’s 13-year-old domestic help. The alleged offences against the accused persons were under Sections 376-DA and 506 IPC and Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
A bench of Justice Satyen Vaidya, while denying bail, considered the young age of the victim, her maturity at the time of the commission of the crime, and the purpose of the POCSO Act. The petitioners' potential attempts to influence the victim were also taken into account.
“The offences alleged against them undoubtedly are of serious and heinous nature. This gains more importance when one looks at the age difference between the victim and the petitioners. No plausible reason has been made out at least prima-facie on behalf of the petitioners to cast any doubt on the prosecution story at this stage. Mere delay in lodging the FIR will not help the petitioners in their prayer for bail. Keeping in view the age of the victim and she having been allegedly put into fear of life, the delay in lodging the FIR can be said to be explainable during trial”, the single judge bench noted.
The petitioners, Dinesh Kumar alias Bittu (36 years old) and Amir Khan (29 years old), while seeking bail, contended that the delay in lodging the FIR was suggestive of the falsity of the allegation. Had the case been truthful, the victim would have raised a hue and cry and reported the matter to someone, their counsel contended. It was further submitted that the medical evidence collected by the police did not support the prosecution version.
However, the Court refused to accept the submissions on the basis of which bail was sought. “It cannot be said that there are no prima-facie or reasonable grounds to believe that the accused have not committed the offence. As noticed above, the accusation against the petitioners are of serious and grave nature”, the bench thus stated.
Case Title: Dinesh Kumar Sharma alias Bittu vs State of Himachal Pradesh
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