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Rape Accused Marries Prosecutrix: Delhi High Court Grants Anticipatory Bail To Accused

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
29 Nov 2020 12:17 PM GMT
Rape Accused Marries Prosecutrix: Delhi High Court Grants Anticipatory Bail To Accused
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The Delhi High Court on Friday allowed the anticipatory bail application of a rape accused after the victim's mother expressed that she has no objection to the same. The victim's mother informed the Court that the Petitioner-accused has married her daughter (the prosecutrix) and she has no objection if the Petitioner is released on anticipatory bail. The prosecutrix was also present...

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The Delhi High Court on Friday allowed the anticipatory bail application of a rape accused after the victim's mother expressed that she has no objection to the same.

The victim's mother informed the Court that the Petitioner-accused has married her daughter (the prosecutrix) and she has no objection if the Petitioner is released on anticipatory bail. The prosecutrix was also present in the hearing via video conferencing.

The bail application was however opposed by the Additional Public Prosecutor Meenakshi Chauhan who submitted that the prosecutrix has supported her allegations in her statement recorded under Section 164 CrPC.

The Petitioner-accused, a Government servant, also stated that FIR against him had been lodged on account of a misunderstanding between the parties and the Complainant has already given her request for re-recording of her statement under Section 164 CrPC.

In view of these submissions, a Single Bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri allowed the pre-arrest bail plea and ordered that in the event of his arrest, the petitioner be released on anticipatory bail, subject to his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs.25,000/- with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the concerned Arresting Officer.

The order states,

"Keeping in view the totality of the facts and circumstances, it is directed that in the event of his arrest, the petitioner be released on anticipatory bail…"

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Recently, the Madhya Pradesh High Court granted temporary two-month bail to a rape accused, so that during this period he may solemnize his marriage with the prosecutrix/complainant.

In 2018, the Supreme Court had invoked its inherent powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to modify the sentence of a rape accused to the period already undergone, to alleviate any further suffering of the prosecutrix, who had married him soon after the alleged incident.

In July this year, a plea was filed before the Kerala High Court asserting that rape is a non-compoundable offence and allowing a rape convict's plea for suspension of sentence to marry the rape survivor will set a bad precedent.

"Given the skewed power dynamics and the nature and history of the case, the possibility of the victim's consent being vitiated by fear, intimidation or trauma cannot be ruled out - an apprehension that received judicial recognition by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in Shimbhu (Supra)," the plea stated.

In Shimbhu v. State of Haryana, (2014) 13 SCC 318, the Supreme Court had held: "A compromise entered into between the parties cannot be construed as a leading factor based on which lesser punishment can be awarded. Rape is a non-compoundable offence and it is an offence against the society and is not a matter to be left for the parties to compromise and settle. Since the Court cannot always be assured that the consent given by the victim in compromising the case is a genuine consent, there is every chance that she might have been pressurised by the convicts or the trauma undergone by her all the years might have compelled her to opt for a compromise. In fact, accepting this proposition will put an additional burden on the victim. The accused may use all his influence to pressurise her for a compromise. So, in the interest of justice and to avoid unnecessary pressure/harassment to the victim, it would not be safe in considering the compromise arrived at [pic]between the parties in rape cases to be a ground for the Court to exercise the discretionary power under the proviso of Section 376(2) IPC."

Case Title: Roshan v. State (NCT of Delhi) & Ors.

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