If material witnesses have been examined and the trial is likely to take time, a court’s decision to grant bail to an accused cannot be termed “perverse” even in serious cases, said the Delhi High Court while rejecting an appeal against bail granted to a rape accused.
The plea was filed by a minor, a student of Class X, who had accused the man of rape. The incident took place on February 28, 2014. According to the girl’s statement, she was on her way to school when the accused, whom she knew, offered her a lift on his motorcycle.
However, she said the accused took her to a room and raped her. The girl eventually told her mother, who filed a complaint with police. An FIR was registered against the accused under Section 376 (rape) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) on March 4, 2014. Two days later, he was arrested. After recording the statements, the court noted that the trial would take time, and released the accused on bail. Alleging that the accused was harassing her, the minor then filed an appeal for cancellation of bail, which was rejected by the trial court. She then moved the Delhi High Court.
During the hearing, the counsel for the minor said she had initially not identified the accused as she was afraid of him. But she later identified him, so non-identification could not be a reason for bail, the counsel said.
The bench of Justice Mukta Gupta said the trial court had only considered that the statement was recorded and the trial was likely to take some time, while granting bail. The bench had also sought a report from police on the allegations made by the minor.
According to the report, the minor had filed three FIRs against the accused after he was released on bail. But the court said that since none of the minor’s allegations could be corroborated, it could not quash the bail. The judge said, according to legal principle, “Cancellation of bail and deprivation of personal liberty is a serious matter. The court, while exercising jurisdiction, should act with circumspection and weigh the acceptability of allegations for cancellation of bail.”