July 31, 2021 8:23:12 am
Dismissing the bail plea of a rape accused who claimed there were contradictions in victim’s statement recorded under Section 164 of CrPC and the allegations made in the FIR, the Punjab and Haryana High Court said that the FIR “is not an encyclopedia, it is only an information for initiation of proceedings”.
The petitioner, Shahrukh Khan, who was arrested by Haryana Police under sections of rape and unnatural offence on January 22, had contended through his counsel before the HC that there were allegations against four persons, and on enquiry, other co-accused were found innocent and only the petitioner was proceeded against, and “hence the story is improbable”.
The counsel further argued that no specific date of incident is mentioned in the FIR. Furthermore, there was a delay in lodging the FIR and there are contradictions in the statement recorded under Section 164 of CrPC, and the allegations made in the FIR. Also, the counsel argued that the petitioner had bought a truck in the name of the victim, and due to troubled relations, the petitioner asked for the truck to be returned, and resultantly, the FIR was lodged.
The state counsel in reply submitted that there are specific allegations against the petitioner that the assault took place when she was not in her senses. She also submitted that the prosecutrix is yet to be examined.
The bench of Justice Avneesh Jhingan after hearing the arguments said: “The contention of unreliability of the story on the basis that other co-accused have been found innocent is not worth acceptance. The other side of the coin is that after enquiry, allegations against petitioner were found reliable. There are specific allegations against the petitioner. The victim in her statement recorded under Section 164 of CrPC has supported the allegations.”
Justice Jhingan held that the contradiction in allegation of FIR and statement under Section 164 CrPC as pointed out by the petitioner would be subject matter of trial. Suffice to say that as per the allegations in FIR and statement under Section 164 of CrPC, the victim stated that on losing her consciousness, she was raped.
“The argument that no specific date of incident is mentioned in the FIR is not a factor to be considered at this stage. It is trite law that FIR is not an encyclopedia, it is only an information for initiation of proceedings,” said Justice Jhingan.
“The delay in lodging the FIR in facts of the present case may not be fatal. The petitioner and victim were in live-in relationship, it is only after differences that they separated and alleged incident occurred. These circumstances can be contributing factor for delay in lodging the FIR.The reliance on WhatsApp conversation between the petitioner and victim to show that they were in touch even after the incident, needs no comment at this stage. The authentication of the conversation would be established during the trial. The petitioner and victim were not strangers, they had relationship but it is after a point of time they parted ways.In rape cases, it is relevant consideration that prosecutrix has been examined or not. In case in hand, she is yet to be examined. Considering the factual background of the case, if the petitioner is enlarged on bail at this stage, he would be in a position to influence the witnesses,” he added, dismissing the bail plea of accused.
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