The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed an order of the Allahabad High Court to the extent it restrained the UP Police from arresting a government counsel in connection to a rape case lodged against him by a Delhi-based lawyer.
The stay order was passed by a Division bench comprised of Justice RF Nariman and Justice Navin Sinha while hearing an SLP against the HC order.
Last week, the High Court had granted interim relief from arrest to Additional Chief Standing Counsel in the Lucknow bench of the High Court, Shailendra Singh Chauhan.
He has been accused of sexual harassment by a young practising lawyer from Delhi and a FIR in the matter has been lodged at the Vibhuti Khand Police Station in Gomti Nagar area, under Sections 328 (Causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence), 354A (Sexual harassment) and 376 (Rape) of IPC.
Chauahn had approached the High Court stating that the allegations leveled against him were false and therefore, the FIR registered against him ought to be quashed.
Though the HC had refused to quash the proceedings instantly, it had granted interim relief from arrest to Chauhan and in the meanwhile granted time to the Complainant's lawyer to file a reply in the matter.
This order came to be challenged before the Top Court, which has directed that there shall be stay of the operation of the impugned order.
Significantly, the impugned order inasmuch as it makes a direction upon the competent court to enable the investigating agency to recover relevant material connected with the case, has not been interfered with.
"There shall be stay of the operation of the impugned order except the following:
"As an interim measure, the competent court is hereby directed to pass necessary orders on the pending application so that the investigating agency may assume possession of the relevant material which may have a bearing upon the case. As an abundant caution, we provide that an appropriate order to this effect may be passed so that there is no tampering with the evidence of the case"," the Top Court ordered.