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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Victim’s story ‘doubtful’, HC grants bail to man accused of raping staffer

‘The complainant was continuously harassing and blackmailing him and an FIR was registered after the 70-days delay since the alleged incident’

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: November 2, 2021 1:06:30 pm
The HC directed that Bind be released on bail on executing a personal bond of Rs 15,000 with one or more sureties in the like amount and asked him to cooperate with the case and not to tamper with the evidence. (File)

OBSERVING THAT “story narrated by victim appears improbable to be believed” and a two-month delay in filing a police complaint, the Bombay High Court said the prosecution’s case appeared “doubtful” and granted bail to a 26-year-old man from Andheri accused of raping a 45-year-old employee in November 2020.

A single-judge bench of Justice Nitin W Sambre on October 28 passed an order while hearing the bail plea of Alok Kumar Bind, who was booked for offences punishable under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force against woman with intention to outrage her modesty) and 376 (rape) of the IPC by Andheri Police station registered in January, this year.

Advocate Heena Mistry for the applicant argued that her client, a resident of Andheri, has a small paper plate making business and the complainant was working in his workshop.

Mistry said the complainant had filed the FIR with “anger and vendetta” as she sought extra money for the number of days she worked and the applicant denied the request saying that he had already paid wages. Mistry said that the applicant had no criminal antecedents and a false case was registered against him, adding that the complainant was continuously harassing and blackmailing Bind and an FIR was registered after the 70-days delay since the alleged incident.

After hearing submissions, the bench noted that the chargesheet has already been filed in the case after Bind was subjected to custodial interrogation.

“Apart from the unexplained delay in lodging the FIR, it is noticed that the story narrated by the victim appears to be improbable to be believed. The incident claimed to have occurred at 9.30 pm in a chawl where the applicant is claimed to be the occupant of a small room from where he was operating production activity of paper plates. The said place is a part of the chawl, which is surrounded by the people residing there. As such, the complainant not narrating the said incident for almost two months to any of the neighbours or people of her acquaintance prima facie raises doubt about the story of the prosecution. The applicant, therefore, deserves to be released on bail.”

The HC directed that Bind be released on bail on executing a personal bond of Rs 15,000 with one or more sureties in the like amount and asked him to cooperate with the case and not to tamper with the evidence. Asking the applicant to stay outside the jurisdiction of Andheri Police station till the conclusion of the trial, the bench disposed of the plea.

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