Karnataka High Court while granting bail to an accused charged of kidnapping and rape of a minor girl, who later committed suicide, said "Gravity alone cannot be a decisive ground to deny bail, rather competing factors are to be balanced by the court while exercising its jurisdiction."
Justice Ashok G Nijagganavar while granting bail to Santosh Danakankeri said that "Object of bail is to secure the attendance of the accused in the trial and the proper test to be applied in the solution of the question whether bail should be granted or refused is whether it is probable that the party will appear to take this trial. Otherwise bail is not to be withheld as a punishment."
As per the prosecution case the accused had allegedly kidnapped the victim who was 17 years at the time of incident on the pretext of marrying her and then sexually assaulted her. The police had arrested the accused in May 2019, on the charges of kidnapping and rape and under section of Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
Advocate Anand Kolli appearing for the petitioners argued that as on the date of the complaint the victim girl was more than 17 years old and she had mental ability to understand the consequences. Even in the statement recorded under section 164 of CrPc she has not disclosed about the kidnapping or sexual assault or the rape committed by the accused. Chargesheet is already filed and since nothing is required to be recovered from the petitioner, he cannot be allowed to be incarcerated in jail for an indefinite period.
The prosecution opposed the plea saying keeping in view the gravity of the offences allegedly committed by the petitioner, he does not deserve to be enlarged on bail. The petitioner taking undue advantage of the innocence of the victim girl who was a minor at the time of the alleged incident was sexually assaulted. There is prima facie evidence to prove the complicity and involvement of the accused.
Court said "The main objection of the prosecution is that in the event of granting bail the accused petitioner is likely to tamper the prosecution witnesses. The said objection may be set right by imposing stringent conditions. In the facts and circumstances of the case this court is of the view that there are vaild grounds to consider the bail subject to terms and conditions."
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