HC rejects anticipatory bail plea of man accused of raping daughter

Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court rejected an anticipatory bail plea of a 34-year-old man, accused of sexually assaulting his five-year-old girl child. It noted that courts have to be sensitive when allegations have been lodged by the mother of the victim against her own husband.

The High Court was of the opinion that it “may be far too stretched at this stage” to assume that the victim may have made her statement at the behest of her mother for settling scores with her husband. The observation was made by the court with reference to multiple litigations being fought between the couple over the years prior to lodging of the current FIR in December last year.

“It cannot be ignored that the future of the victim child also gets impacted, at least in close circles and any mother would normally desist from taking the issues which may adversely affect her own child in social circles,” the court remarked.

Matrimonial differences

The husband, a mechanical engineer, and the woman had got married in 2014 but soon started living separately in May 2015 due to matrimonial differences. In the meantime, a girl child was born in 2016 while both the husband and wife lodged multiple litigations against each other.

The wife had lodged a domestic violence case against her husband in January 2016 and the husband, on the other hand, filed a petition for divorce in September the same year. However, around December 2020, the duo started living together in a tenanted premises.

While rejecting the anticipatory bail plea, the High Court said, “The legal presumption as to the commission of offence and culpable mental state as legislated under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act has also to be kept in perspective while dealing with offences under the POCSO Act”.

Needs examination

However, as the husband disputed the occurrence of any such alleged incident as well as past history of the matrimonial disputes between the parties, the High Court said, “The matter needs to be prima facie examined to ascertain if a case under Section 376AB (rape on woman under 12 years of age) IPC is made out”.

The High Court said it need to be ascertained “if the accusations have been made only with the object of injuring or humiliating the petitioner by ensuring his arrest”.

“Considering the background of a series of litigations between the petitioner and the complainant, who is the mother of victim and a lawyer, the possibility of false allegations for purpose of achieving ulterior motives through tutoring of a minor child cannot be ruled out as the consequences of prosecuting a father of a victim under rape are very serious, since the person comes down in the eyes of society and is virtually shunned from the mainstream of life,” the High Court added.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2022 5:06:14 pm |