The Punjab and Haryana High Court has, in a rape cause from Punjab’s Hoshiarpur, permitted Chandigarh Police to make a request to the appropriate agency or a competent court to restrain a rape accused’s family from leaving the country.
The accused, Sukhminder Singh, has been absconding since 2012 and police fear that if his family too leaves the country, they may never be able to trace the accused. “Needless to observe that the investigating agency is always at liberty to proceed as per law. They may act accordingly,” an order passed by a single bench of the HC read.
A 35-year-old woman had been allegedly raped by the accused in 2011 at a farmhouse after being given an intoxicant. A video of the act, shot by the accused, later forced her into silence and the abuse continued for several months, the petition filed before the HC in 2012 said.
Chandigarh Police has been investigating the crime after the HC transferred the case to it from Punjab Police.
Sukhminder’s land already stands attached since he has been declared a proclaimed offender by the trial court.
Chandigarh Police’s probe revealed that the accused is in touch with his family members back home in Hoshiarpur.
During the hearing on January 17, the court was informed by Additional Public Prosecutor Sukant Gupta that the investigating agency is making efforts to trace the accused but information has been received that relatives of the absconder are about to leave the country.
“In case they also go abroad, it will be difficult for the investigating agency to trace the absconder,” Gupta told the court.
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