While observing that in the FIR lodged by the Complainant, there are no details about any date and time of the incident, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday (07th October) granted Anticipatory bail to a school manager booked for allegedly raping a lady.
The Bench of Justice Bharati Dangre was hearing the plea of the applicant (Ezzakk Shashikumar Naik) seeking his release in anticipation of his arrest in connection with FIR lodged against him with Rajgad Police Station, Taluka Bhor, District Pune vide C.R.No.523 of 2020 (under Sections 376 and 354 of IPC along with Section 12 of POCSO Act, 2012).
The Facts of the Case
The prosecutrix lodged a complaint against the applicant on 27th August, 2020 with Rajgad Police Station.
She referred to an incident, which took place almost two and a half years back, in the month of May or June 2018, when she was in search of work and she came to know that in a Girls' School in Khed Shivapur, there was a need of staff for cleaning purposes.
She approached the Mission School several times but she was not offered any job as there was no vacancy.
After some days, she again visited the school and Mr. Naik (the applicant) offered her work and told her that she would get 20,000/- to 25,000/- for the said work, but for that purpose, the complainant would have to establish physical intimacy with him and she will have to be at his beck and call.
Thereafter, it was stated that he took her to one room, which was located at the backside of the building and he indulged into sexual intercourse.
The incident was repeated and the allegation is that on the assurance that she would be offered some job, Mr. Naik (the applicant) had compelled her to establish physical relationship.
The Complainant also alleged that on one occasion, her sister's daughter Reshma aged 14 years had accompanied her to the school when she went to meet the applicant and the minor girl complained to her that an aged person whom she pointed out as Mr.Naik, had hugged her.
The complaint filed by her also explained the delay in lodging the complaint and the prosecutrix stated that she was helpless and since Mr.Naik did not offer her job in spite of his assurance, she approached a social worker and she showed her the way to the police station and, therefore, she could report the incident.
The Court was of the view that the FIR, only vaguely refers to the incident that allegedly took place in the month of May or June 2018, without any specific date or time.
In this context, the Court remarked,
"The delay in lodging the complaint, at the time of trial may not be considered as fatal and the prosecutrix may come up with appropriate explanation at that time, but at present, proceeding on the basis of the complaint and the version contained therein, the custodial interrogation of the applicant, in my considered opinion, is not necessary."
Further, the Court stated,
"The applicant is a responsible person and is working with the Public Charitable trust as a Manager. He has roots in the society and his chances of fleeing the course of justice are minimal."
Subject to the stipulation that the applicant will co-operate with the investigation and would attend the police station as and when called for, in the wake of vague allegations contained in the complaint, the Court found him to be entitled for being released on bail in anticipation of his arrest.
Lastly, the Court ordered that in the event of his arrest in C.R.No.523 of 2020 registered with Rajgad Police Station, the applicant-Ezzakk Shashikumar Naik shall be released on bail on furnishing P.R.Bond to the extent of Rs.25,000/- with one or two sureties of the like amount.
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