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'Pita Dharma, Pita Swarga': Gujarat High Court Reminds Sanskrit Shloka To Father Accused Of Molesting 12-Yr Old Daughter, Denies Bail

Rahul Garg
5 Jan 2023 5:15 AM GMT
Pita Dharma, Pita Swarga: Gujarat High Court Reminds Sanskrit Shloka To Father Accused Of Molesting 12-Yr Old Daughter, Denies Bail

The Gujarat High Court has denied bail to a man accused of physically molesting his 12 year-old daughter on several occasions.

The accused-father allegedly wanted to marry the victim-daughter and had even threatened to kill the entire family, should the mother of the victim reveal the incidents of molestation to anyone.

A single bench of Justice Samir J. Dave, while denying bail to the accused, said that:

A daughter looks up to her father to protect her from outside evils; as a shield of her dignity, and when the same protector rips her apart, the trauma one suffers as a consequence cannot even be described…the beastly act of ravishing a child for exerting his position of male dominance and violating her physical and mental well-being is attitude of a savage tribe and not of a civilized society.”

It shocks human conscience when the sanctity of father-daughter relationship is ravaged in such a sordid manner when the protector becomes the violator. In such a case the offence assumes a greater degree of vulnerability which shall not go unpunished. It is the gravest sin, where the most platonic relationship is shattered by an extreme pervert and shameful act of nonetheless but one's own father” – added the Court.

Justice Dave further invoked Sanskrit Shlokas from Manusmuruti and Padma Pauran highlighting the importance a father holds for his daughter. Justice Dave thus cited – 'जनकश्चोपनेता च यक्ष पिद्यां प्रयच्छति। अन्नदाता भयत्राता, पश्चैते पितरः स्मृताः।।' meaning ‘one who gives birth, one who initiates, one who imparts knowledge, one who provides food and protects from fear, these five are considered as fathers’ and 'पिता धर्मः पिता स्वर्गः पिता हि परमम् तपः।' meaning ‘my father is my dharma, my father is my heaven, he is the ultimate penance of my life.’

The matter reached the High Court when the accused-father filed a bail plea under Section 439 of the CrPC in FIR registered for offences punishable under Sections 354(A) 1, 354(B) and 506(2) of the IPC r/w Sections 8, 12 and 18 of the POCSO Act.

As per the complaint, the accused grabbed his daughter’s hand, drove her into the house, moved his hand inappropriately on her chest and physically molested her.

On another occasion, almost a month prior to this incident, he allegedly tied her hands with a rope, blocked her mouth, removed her frock and moved his hands inappropriately over her chest.

Before the High Court, the accused contended that the mother of the victim had levelled false allegations since the two did not have good family relations. He contended that the FIR was filed after 25 days of the alleged occurrence, which meant that the same was concocted. Further, he contended that he being the victim’s father, the prosecution’s version was not believable, since such acts could not have been committed by him.

The respondent-State, on the other hand, contended that the accused was involved in a very serious crime and that he shall continue with such activities, were bail granted to him.

The High Court, after examining the arguments, said that:

It appears that the prosecution has clearly established the prima facie case against the present applicant and thus, this Court is not inclined to exercise the powers vested under Section 439 of CrPC.

Regarding the contention that the FIR was lodged with inordinate delay, the Court, while relying on the Supreme Court decision in Tara Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR 1991 SC 63 said that the same could not lead to an adverse inference leading to rejection of the prosecution case.

Case Title: Fakirmamad Hushenbhai Sumbhaniya v. State of Gujarat [R/Criminal Misc. Application No. 22951 of 2022]

Case Citation: 2023 Livelaw (Guj) 4

Coram: Justice Samir J. Dave

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