Held for Stalking & Harassing Minor, ‘Good Family Background’ Saves MP Student from Jail Time; Told to Do Community Service

In a controversial decision, the Madhya Pradesh High Court recently granted bail to a college student who had been arrested on April 4 under the POCSO Act for allegedly stalking and harassing a minor girl. The court directed the accused to perform community service at a Bhopal hospital as a condition of his bail for the next two months.

Justice Anand Pathak, who presided over the hearing on May 16, noted that the bail was granted partly due to the “good family background” of the accused. Despite describing the allegations as “ugly,” Justice Pathak expressed that the accused “deserved a chance to correct his course.”

The court mandated that the accused render services at the Bhopal District Hospital every weekend from 9 AM to 1 PM. His responsibilities will include assisting patients in the external department under the supervision of doctors and compounders.

The defendant argued in his plea for bail that prolonged confinement would adversely affect his academic pursuits. His parents also appeared in court, expressing shame for their son’s actions and vowing that he would not repeat such behavior.

His counsel assured the court that the accused would “mend his ways to become a better citizen” and not cause any further “embarrassment or harassment” to the complainant’s side. Additionally, the counsel suggested that engaging in community service and creative pursuits could help in reducing the accused’s alleged ego.

The court specified that the accused would not be allowed in operation theatres or private wards, nor would he administer any medical treatments to patients. His role is strictly limited to assisting without causing any infection or discomfort, under close supervision by the hospital staff.

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The prosecution strongly opposed the bail, highlighting that the accused had “constantly harassed the victim through WhatsApp, stalking, and vulgar conversations.”

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