20 Oct 2023 7:46 AM GMT
The Supreme Court of India on Friday granted anticipatory bail to Indian Youth Congress (IYC) president BV Srinivas in a sexual harassment case, by making 'absolute' a May 2023 order by which the court had granted him pre-arrest bail as an interim measure.A bench of Justices BR Gavai, Aravind Kumar, and Prashant Kumar Mishra was hearing Srinivas' special leave petition against the Gauhati...
The Supreme Court of India on Friday granted anticipatory bail to Indian Youth Congress (IYC) president BV Srinivas in a sexual harassment case, by making 'absolute' a May 2023 order by which the court had granted him pre-arrest bail as an interim measure.
A bench of Justices BR Gavai, Aravind Kumar, and Prashant Kumar Mishra was hearing Srinivas' special leave petition against the Gauhati High Court rejecting his application for anticipatory bail in connection with a first information report (FIR) registered in Assam against the Congress leader on the strength of sexual harassment complaint lodged by a former party member. He was granted interim anticipatory bail by the court in May.
On the last occasion, the division bench initially suggested making the court’s earlier order ‘absolute’ after being apprised that Srinivas had cooperated with the investigation as instructed. However, after the counsel for the state government insisted, the court adjourned the hearing without passing any such order.
Once again the court was informed of the Youth Congress president's cooperation during today's hearing. "By order dated May 17, we had granted ad interim bail. The Additional Advocate General of the State of Assam vehemently opposes the anticipatory bail application. However, taking into consideration that the petitioner has cooperated with the investigation, we are entitled to allow the application and the earlier order is made absolute," the bench ordered today.
BV Srinivas, the national president of the Indian Youth Congress, came under fire earlier this year for allegedly harassing a party member, who posted allegations against him in social media.
Subsequently, an FIR was registered against Srinivas under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 such as Sections 352 (assault or criminal force), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 354A(1)(iv) (sexual harassment), as well as Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. In her complaint, Dutta alleged that Srinivas had persistently harassed her mentally by making sexist remarks and using expletives. The complainant further claimed that the IYC president had abused, heckled, and manhandled her at a plenary session in Raipur, besides threatening to ruin her career in the party if she complained against him.
In the following month, the Gauhati High Court not only refused to quash the FIR against Srinivas while observing that there was no indication that it was politically motivated as suggested by the accused politician, but the single-judge bench of Justice Ajit Borthakur also rejected Srinivas’ anticipatory bail plea observing that the investigation was at its ‘nascent’ stage.
BV Srinivas v. State of Assam | Special Leave Petition (Criminal) No. 6210 of 2023