Minor’s sexual assault: SC grants anticipatory bail to children of suspended Delhi govt officer

The Supreme Court has granted anticipatory bail to the daughter and son of suspended Delhi government officer Premoday Khakha in a case of alleged sexual assault of a minor girl by the arrested official.

A bench of Justices CT Ravikumar and Rajesh Bindal granted the relief, noting that the petitioners have joined the investigation.

“After going through the statement, and hearing learned counsel on both sides and after perusing the material on record, we are of the view that these Special Leave Petitions can be disposed of, directing the release of the petitioners on bail in the event of their arrest on furnishing a bond of Rs 25,000, subject to the satisfaction of the Investigating Officer and further subject to the conditions stipulated under section 438(2), CrPC,” the bench said in an order on Monday.

Advocates Shubhashis R Soren and Bhakti Singh appeared for the petitioners.

The Delhi High Court on October 11 last year had refused to grant anticipatory bail to the daughter and son of Khakha, saying prima facie their “comprehensive interrogation” was required at this stage.

It had observed that the siblings were “untraceable” and granting pre-arrest bail to them would not be prudent as it could derail the investigation which was at a nascent stage.

The high court had said while their personal liberty was a relevant factor, the nature of the offences which were allegedly committed over a period of time after the “victim” had just lost her father, her age as well as other factors, including that they were all residing in the same household at the relevant time, cannot be overlooked.

The official’s son and daughter, accused of abetting the crime, had approached the high court seeking pre-arrest bail in the case after they failed to secure the relief from trial court.

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Khakha allegedly raped the minor girl several times between November 2020 and January 2021, and is currently in jail after his arrest in August.

The minor was the daughter of a person known to the accused, the police had said.

The official’s wife Seema Rani, who allegedly gave the girl medicine to terminate her pregnancy, is also an accused in the case. She too is in judicial custody.

The couple was arrested after the survivor recorded her statement before a magistrate at a hospital.

A case has been registered under provisions of the POCSO Act and Indian Penal Code sections 376(2)(f) (being a relative, guardian or teacher of, or a person in a position of trust or authority towards the woman, commits rape on such woman) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to outrage the modesty of a woman), police said.

IPC sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 313 (causing miscarriage without woman’s consent) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) have also been invoked in the case, police said.

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