The Delhi High Court on Thursday quashed bail granted to a 23-year-old man accused of attacking a woman lawyer at her residence, after noting that the trial court was “in error” in granting bail. The court also said it found “no irregularity” in police sending pictures of the suspects via WhatsApp for the woman to identify.
The vacation bench of Justice Muralidhar quashed the bail and directed that the accused, Mukesh, should surrender at Nizamuddin police station by 5 pm on Thursday. Mukesh was granted bail on June 5.
The 25-year-old lawyer had approached the court against the grant of bail to her attacker, claiming that she had been subjected to “violent sexual assault”.
On May 27, Mukesh had entered her fourth floor flat and attacked her with an iron rod before tearing her clothes. He had fled after she raised an alarm and roused her landlord.
In her petition, she also claimed that police had failed to add charges under attempt to rape (section 376 read with section 511) under the IPC. The trial court, however, had granted bail and stated that there were “no head injuries” mentioned in the medical records.
The High Court went through the medical records submitted by police and held that “the ASJ was in error in granting bail to the accused just a week after his arrest”. The bench also the matter “requires further investigation and custodial questioning” of the accused.
Mukesh’s lawyer, who opposed the woman’s lawyer’s plea, said she had “failed to identify” the accused even though he was related to her landlady and used to visit the house often. The lawyer also argued that police had not conducted a proper test identification parade but had sent pictures of suspected persons to the woman through WhatsApp – “a method of identification unknown to law”.
The bench dismissed the arguments and said there was no irregularity in the manner of identification, but added that the issue could be raised later during trial.
The High Court issued its orders after Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Navin Sharma informed the court that the accused had “misled” the trial court by claiming that he was the “owner” of the house where the woman lives as a tenant, though he is the landlady’s relative.
Further, the APP told the court that relatives of the accused had “threatened” the woman’s employers and were “attempting to influence witnesses”. Sharma also said police had already added the offence of disrobing under section 354 B to the FIR, and was deliberating on whether to add the charges of attempted rape as alleged by the woman lawyer.
The initial FIR in the case was filed under sections 452 (trespass), 323 (causing hurt), 354 (molestation) and 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of the IPC. The lawyer then wrote to the Delhi Police commissioner to add charges of disrobing and attempt to rape.
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