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Higher The Faith Deposed By The Society, Higher The Responsibility To Keep It: Himachal Pradesh HC Denies Bail To Rape Accused ‘Godman’ [Read Order]

Our society has tremendous faith in religious ‘Gurus’ and they are treated by the public, equivalent to God and normally devotees submit themselves to such ‘Gurus’ unconditionally and obey their dictates like an obedient child.”

While rejecting bail plea of a ‘godman’ accused in a rape case, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has observed that offence committed by a person pretending himself a pious/spiritual person is more serious than an impious person, particularly when the commission of such an offence shakes the trust of society at large.

Justice Vivek Singh Thakur made this observation while dismissing bail petition of Anand Gopal, who was accused of raping a woman, in whose house he had come for a ‘satsang’.

In the order, the judge said: “Our society has tremendous faith in religious ‘Gurus’ and they are treated by the public, equivalent to God and normally devotees submit themselves to such ‘Gurus’ unconditionally and obey their dictates like an obedient child. An offence committed by a person pretending himself pious/spiritual person is more serious than a impious person, particularly when commission of such an offence shakes the trust of society at large. Breach of faith by a person of higher status has deep hurting impact on society. Higher the faith deposed by the society higher the responsibility to keep it.”

The court, upholding the session’s court order that denied him bail, observed that courts have to be sensitive to legitimate social sentiments and must respond taking into the larger interest of society. It also added that this is a case where a lady has been exploited by taking undue advantage of fiduciary relationship resulting into the breach of faith of the society at large, grant of bail to the petitioner at this stage may also have an adverse impact on the society.

“The petitioner has a right to liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India, but balance has to be maintained between the personal and societal interest,” the bench said.

Read the Order Here

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