On 14.09.2020, a Single Judge of Delhi High Court granted bail to an accused charges for the offences punishable under sections 376/506 IPC, because there was a delay in lodging of F.I.R. and prima facie no threat perception also.
The Accused used to be the tenant of the Prosecutrix. The Husband of the Prosecutrix had let out the first floor of the residence on rent to the Accused. The Accused last resided in the said house till September 2019 and thereafter vacated the same. On 22nd February, the Prosecutrix, along with her husband, went to the police station and lodged an F.I.R. against the Accused. The Prosecutrix alleged that the Accused had committed the offence of rape against her. The Prosecutrix further alleged that she had been raped from June to October 2018. On the pretext of the allegations made in the F.I.R., the police arrested the Accused from Agra. Therefore the appellant sought bail through this bail application.
Submissions of the Accused
The Accused sought the benefit of delay in filing the F.I.R. It was pleaded that he vacated the said premises in September 2019 and the Prosecutrix had lodged an F.I.R. in February 2020, i.e. after four-five months of leaving the premises.
Counsel for the Accused argued that the statement of the Prosecutrix varies on some occasions and it lacks consistency. There were contradictions in the initial F.I.R. and M.L.C. of the Prosecutrix
Reliance was placed upon the Judgment of Delhi High Court in the case of Shashi Chaudhary vs Ram Kumar and Anr. [Crl. Rev. P. 537/2009], to support the submission that even the shortest delay in filing the F.I.R. could have a significant impact on the innocence of the accused.
Submissions of the Prosecutrix
The counsel for the Prosecutrix opposed this bail application on the ground that the Accused knows her family and their whereabouts well. He could threaten the Prosecutrix and may harm her family or children if released on bail.
Delay in lodging of F.I.R., is because the accused was giving threats to the Prosecutrix and due to lack of courage, the Prosecutrix could not tell about the incident to her Husband. It was further pleaded that the Court should not judge her for the delay in filing the complaint as she was a married woman and a young mother who faced reluctance in lodging an F.I.R.
Observations of Court:
Justice Pratibha M.Singh of Delhi High Court, after hearing the parties observed that it seemed unusual that Prosecutrix took one year and three months to file an F.I.R. against the Accused and she also did not report the same to her Husband. The Husband of the Prosecutrix could have learnt learned something from his children or the behaviour of the Prosecutrix about the same.
Further, the Court observed that the possibility of a threat to the Accused and her family could not be ruled out. However, it is clear from the facts that there is no such serious allegation that the Accused visited the Prosecutrix or threatened. Therefore, the ground of threats is not available to the Prosecutrix.
Based on the above observations, the Court granted interim bail to the accused of a period of 30 days.
Story by Rohit Mathur-Intern