The Himachal Pradesh High Court recently, while granting bail to a rape-accused, observed that pre-trial incarceration cannot be ordered as matter of rule.
The observation was given by Justice Satyen Vaidya:
"The bail application has been opposed on the ground that the petitioner is required for custodial interrogation. However, except for a bald assertion, nothing has been shown as to why his custodial interrogation is required. The allegations against the petitioner are yet to be proved. Pre-trial incarceration cannot be ordered as matter of rule."
The Petitioner had sought pre-arrest bail in a case where he was booked under Sections 376, 452 and 506 of Indian Penal Code.
The prosecutrix had alleged that she was sexually assaulted by the Petitioner and delay of about eight days in lodging the FIR brooked due to absence of her husband.
The bail application was opposed on the ground that the custodial interrogation of the petitioner is required and further that in case of release of petitioner on bail, he may overawe the prosecution witnesses including the prosecutrix.
The Court noted observed that the preliminary investigation in the case was already complete and thus, no fruitful purpose shall be served by allowing the petitioner to be kept in custody. "The prosecutrix is an adult and the mode and manner in which the offence is alleged to have been committed is subject to proof during the trial."
Case Title: Rajender Kumar v. State of Himachal Pradesh
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (HP) 29