Allahabad High Court grants bail to poor laborer allegedly substituted for a rich man as accused in 10-yrs-old's rape, murder case

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The Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench recently granted bail to a man, a laborer, imprisoned for the last six years in a 10-year-old girl's rape and murder case. Court noted that the situation of investigation and the alleged substitution of the poor laborer in place of a moneyed and landed person as the accused in the case was strange. 

Taking note of the delay in completion of the investigation and allegation of allurement by the Police made to the laborer to confess the crime, The bench of Justice Ram Krishna Gautam directed the Director General of Police and Principal Secretary Home of Uttar Pradesh to look into the matter.

Court said, "It's a case of murder of a tiny girl of ten years after rubbishing her; investigation is of this situation!!! This Court is compelled to mention that the Director General of Police and Principal Secretary Home of U.P. to look into the matter as to who is the real culprit? or who is real accused?...and what should be (the) fate of investigation."

On December 10, 2016, three hours after the incident, a case was lodged for offences punishable under Sections 376-A, 302, 201 of the Indian Penal Code read with section 3/5M of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Filing the case, the informant, the father of the deceased girl, had alleged that during a search for their daughter, when his wife rushed to a nearby mustered field, she found their girl's dead body and saw one Vikki running away. He stated that previously also Vikki had tortured and extended threats to the deceased girl. But subsequently, the name of the laborer Sufal Rawat surfaced, and he got arrested on December 14, 2016. Allegedly, Rawat had made a confessional statement before the police. 

Moving Rawat's bail plea before the High Court, his counsel argued that Rawat's confessional statement before the Police was not a confession, rather it was a statement under threat and allurement of police. He claimed that Rawat's statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. before the Magistrate itself revealed that the confession was made under allurement of the Inspector of Police, with this assurance that if Rawat admits the guilt, he will not be roped in the criminal proceeding.

He asserted that except for this confessional statement, neither there was any evidence nor any recovery from Rawat was made to prove his guilt. He further contended that in their testimonies before the Trial Court, the girl's father and mother, both had categorically said that it was Vikki, who ran from the spot and it was Vikki, who had extended threats and tortured previously.

Rawat's counsel argued, "Vikki is (a) moneyed man having landed property and having his influence, as was said by (the) informant in his testimony. That's why informant (girl's father) kept mum with regard to torture given by him (Vikki). Applicant (Rawat) is poor labourer, working at premises of Vikki, hence being a moneyed man Vikki managed to substitute applicant (Rawat) under his muscle and money power and connivance with (the) police."

The State also could not oppose the facts that Rawat had no earlier criminal history, and he was not named either in the FIR or in witnesses' statements under Section 161 Cr.P.C. The State also agreed that only on the basis of the statement given as a confession to the Police and to the Magistrate under Section 164 Cr.P.C., Rawat was implicated in the case. 

Considering all these facts and circumstances, Court found Rawat's case fit for bail and directed the authorities to look into the matter. 

Case Title: Sufal Rawat v. State Of U.P.Thru Prin.Secy. Home And Others