SC grants bail to 77-year-old rape accused on DNA evidence

The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to a 77-year old retired Army pensioner from West Bengal accused of raping a 13-year old girl after the DNA report showed that he was not the father of the child born to the rape survivor.

A division bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul overturned a June 5 order of Calcutta High Court in this regard after the state government conceded before the Supreme Court that the DNA report showed that the accused, Jayanta Chatterjee, was not the father of the child as claimed by the survivor.

“In view of the aforesaid, we have no hesitation in saying that the petitioner (Chatterjee) should be enlarged on bail on the terms and conditions to the satisfaction of the trial court,” the bench which also comprised Justice Ajay Rastogi said.

A case was registered against Chatterjee on May 11 at the Matigara police station based on the complaint by one Dilip Karmakar, the father of the rape survivor. Karmakar had alleged that his daughter had showed unnatural behaviour and on questioning, the girl revealed that Chatterjee had raped and impregnated her. Chatterjee was charged for offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO) and was arrested on May 12. He was remanded to judicial custody on May 26. The rape survivor gave birth to a baby girl on July 5.

Chatterjee had contended before the Supreme Court that Karmakar, who was his tenant, was neither paying the monthly rent nor vacating the premises and the false complaint was filed to incarcerate Chatterjee.

He had also repeatedly raised the argument before the high court and top court that he is incapable of sexual activity since he is 84 years old. The state government had, however, submitted that Chatterjee was only 77 years old as per official records.

The petitioner had requested for a DNA test to prove his innocence. The Supreme Court after hearing Chatterjee’s lawyer, senior counsel Kapil Sibal, had ordered a DNA test on July 9.

With the DNA test absolving Chatterjee, he also claimed compensation against Karmakar for filing a false case.

The Court Observed

“Senior counsel for the petitioner (Chatterjee) further submits that it is out of a landlord-tenant dispute that a false case has been filed and that he should be given appropriate compensation. If that be the position, it is for the appellant to take necessary steps in this behalf in accordance with law claiming compensation in accordance with law,”

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