"Arrest on mere allegations can destroy reputation; courts to apply care at pre-conviction stage," says Delhi High Court

  • Aishwarya Iyer
  • 01:07 PM, 24 Nov 2021

The Delhi High Court has said in an order that arrest of an individual on the basis of mere allegations has the potential to destroy the reputation of the said individual and therefore, it is necessary to apply great care and circumspection while dealing with arrest at a pre-conviction stage.

With this in mind, the Court went on to grant anticipatory bail to one Radhe Shyam in a case of arrest in FIR registered for an offence under Section 376 IPC.

A complaint was filed by an employee working in the human resource department at Radhe Shyam's company, M/s Dabas Securities and Allied Services stating that he induced and pressurized female employees of his company to have physical relations with him.

It was alleged that the applicant raped his employee on three counts and when she resisted, he went on to fire her without any notice or reason.

However, the complainant rejoined the job after talking to the Reporting Manager, and was subsequently promoted and received a raise in her salary.

The Sessions Court, Dwarka, Delhi had earlier dismissed Radhe Shyam’s plea for anticipatory bail in July 2021 with the reasoning that the contents of FIR were supported by Section 164 statement of the prosecutrix complainant. 

Senior Advocate Mohit Mathur appearing for the Petitioner, submitted before Court that the Petitioner and Complainant were in an employer-employee relationship which later on developed into a consensual physical relationship. 

He further contended that if the complainant had been raped, she ought to have lodged an FIR within the shortest time possible and not filed it virtually 6 months after the first incident of rape was committed.

Justice Subramonium Prasad noted that whether or not the sexual intercourse took place between the Petitioner and the Complainant was consensual in nature, was to be dealt with during the course of the trial and the Court thus refrained itself from commenting on the merits of the same.

Justice Prasad added that in grant of anticipatory bail, it is to be analyzed whether the Petitioner is in a position of tampering with evidence or influencing the witnesses.

Referring to the Trial Court order whereby it dismissed the anticipatory bail application of stating that the petitioner was in a position of authority and could exert dominance over the complainant as well as over other employees who were witnesses in this matter, the Bench said,

"...it is to be noted that two witnesses who were the employees, have now left the company and, therefore, it can safely be said that the petitioner is no longer in a position to influence them. Further, mere apprehension of tampering with evidence or influencing the witnesses cannot be a ground for rejecting an application for anticipatory bail."

With this view, the Court granted bail in the event of arrest while directing the applicant to furnish a personal bond in the sum of ₹50,000/- with two sureties of the like amount, one of them being that a relative of the petitioner, to the satisfaction of the Trial Court/ Duty Magistrate.

The High Court further imposed certain conditions on grant of bail.

Cause Title: Radhe Shyam v State