Minor’s Sexual Assault:HC refuses to grant anticipatory bail to children of suspended Delhi govt officer

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to grant 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, saying prima facie their “comprehensive interrogation” was required at this stage.

Justice Saurabh Banerjee 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 judge 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.

“Accordingly, the present application is dismissed,” the court ordered.

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

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.

In the order, Justice Banerjee wrote during a personal interaction with him in his chamber, the “affected person” not only named the official’s daughter “but also assigned her a specific role”.

The court recorded that the minor, during the interaction, said she had divulged the details of the incidents to the daughter who was close to her and that she “felt betrayed” when “there was no change in what was going on with her”.

With resepect to the son, the judge noted he “purchased/procured” a medical pregnancy test kit for the minor, following which her pregnancy was terminated without any medical opinion.

“As there are more than one incidents involved since the year 2020, prima facie, a comprehensive interrogation of all the accused, including the present applicant, is required at this stage,” the court said.

The court also said it cannot lose sight of the means, position and standing of the father of the bail applicants, coupled with the likelihood of evidence being tampered with and witnesses influenced, which can derail the trial.

“The applicant is not traceable despite efforts of the investigating agency which (has) led to a conclusion that he may be a flight risk upon grant of anticipatory bail,” the court stated.

“In the opinion of this Court, granting anticipatory bail to the applicant would not be prudent as the overall factors suffice to deny him bail at this stage, especially when the investigation is at a nascent stage,” the court said in its order with regard to the son of the arrested Delhi government official. It also passed an identical order with respect to his daughter.

Also Read

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.

Related Articles

Latest Articles