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______________________________________________________________ vs State Of Himachal Pradesh on 3 July, 2018

IN THE HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH, SHIMLA

     Cr.MP(M) No. 804 of 2018

.

Date of Decision No.03.7.2018 

__
Shiv Kumar  Another                       …….. Petitioners

Versus 

State of Himachal Pradesh                        …..Respondent.
__
Coram:

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sandeep Sharma, Judge.
Whether approved for reporting? 1  Yes.

For the petitioners:   Mr. Vijay Chaudhary, Advocate.

     

        For the respondent: Mr.   S.C.Sharma   and   Dinesh   Thakur, 
Additional   Advocate   Generals,   and   Mr. 
Amit   Kumar   Dhumal,   Deputy   Advocate 
General.

__
Sandeep Sharma, Judge (oral):

Bail petitioners, namely Shiv Kumar and Smt. Kesav 

Bala apprehending their arrest in case FIR No.142 of 2018, dated 

19.6.2018,   under   Sections   341,   323,   354   and   506   of   the   Indian 

Penal Code  (for short ‘IPC’)  and  Section  8 of the  Protection of 

Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012  ( for short ‘POCSO’), 

registered   at   police   Station,   Sadar,   District   Kullu,   Himachal 

Pradesh, approached this Court in the instant proceedings, seeking 

therein pre­arrest bail.

1

Whether the reporters of the local papers may be allowed to see the judgment?

04/07/2018 23:00:13 :::HCHP

2. Sequel to order dated 26.06.2018, whereby this Court 

had ordered for enlargement of bail petitioners on bail in the event 

.

of their arrest in connection with FIR detailed hereinabove, SI Ajit 

Singh,   police   Station,   Sadar,   District   Kullu,   has   come   present 

alongwith   the   record.     Mr.   Dinesh   Thakur,   learned   Additional 

Advocate   General,   has   also   placed   on   record   status   report, 

prepared   on   the   basis   of   the   investigation   carried   out   by   the 

Investigating Agency. Record perused and returned.

3. Mr.   Dinesh   Thakur,   learned   Additional   Advocate 

General,   on   the   instructions   of   the   Investigating   Officer,   who   is 

present   in   Court,   fairly   states   that   pursuant   to   order   dated 

26.6.2018,   bail   petitioners   have   joined   the   investigation   and   are 

fully co­operating with the investigating agency.

4. Close scrutiny of the record/status report, reveals that 

FIR detailed hereinabvoe, came to be lodged at the behest of the 

complainant/prosecutrix  on 19.6.2018, wherein she alleged that on 

19.6.2018, at about 3:40 PM, petitioner No.2 stopped her and gave 

beatings   to   her.   She   further   alleged   that   bail   petitioner   No.2 

forcibly   took   her   into   the   fields   and   tried   to   strangulate   her. 

Subsequently, petitioner No.2 called petitioner No.1, who happened 

to   be   her   son   on   the   spot.   Petitioner   No.1   abused   the 

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complainant/prosecutrix   and   behaved   indecently   with   her. 

Complainant  also  alleged that  during   the scuffle, petitioner No.1 

.

made an attempt to outrage her modesty and he also touched her 

private parts. On the basis of aforesaid complaint, FIR, mentioned 

hereinabove, came to be lodged against the bail petitioners.

5. Mr. Vijay Chaudhary, learned counsel representing the 

bail   petitioners   while   referring   to   the   record/status   report, 

vehemently   submits   that   no   case   is   made   out   against   the   bail 

petitioners   and   they   have   been   falsely   implicated   in   the   instant 

case and as such, they deserve to be enlarged on bail. While inviting 

attention of this Court to the documents placed on record alongwith 

the bail petition, Mr. Chaudhary, learned counsel, argues that the 

complainant/prosecutrix is daughter of Smt. Phulla Kumari, who is 

tenant of   the bail petitioners. Since, Smt.Phulla Kumari failed to 

pay the rent qua the house rented to her by the bail petitioners, bail 

petitioners were compelled to file proceedings under Section 14 of 

the   Urban   Rent   Control   Act,   1987,     for   eviction   in   the   Court   of 

learned Rent Controller, Kullu, District Kullu, HP and the same is 

still   pending.   Documents   placed   on   record   further   suggests   that 

vide Annexure P­2, dated 4.12.2017, bail petitioner No.2 had filed a 

complaint before the Superintendent of Police, Kullu,District Kullu, 

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intimating   therein   uncalled   behaviour   of   the   mother   of 

complainant   /prosecutrix,   who     allegedly   on   one   pretext   or   other 

.

always made an attempt to falsely implicate the bail petitioners or 

their family members. Vide aforesaid communication,bail petitioner 

No.2 requested Superintendent of Police, Kullu, to issue direction to 

SHO, Mahila Thana, Sarwari Kullu, to take legal action against the 

respondent under law.

6. Mr. Chaudhary further invites attention of this Court 

to   the   statement   of   the   complainant/prosecutrix   recorded   under 

Section   164   Cr.P.C.,   to   demonstrate   that   there   are   lot   of 

inconsistencies   in   the   two   statements   given   by   the   complainant/ 

prosecutrix i.e. one is under Section 154 Cr.P.C and another under 

Section   164   Cr.P.C.   He   further   states   that   on   19.6.2018,   the 

complainant   had   actually   attacked   petitioner   No.2   and   in   this 

regard   FIR   already   stands   registered   at   police   Station,   Kullu. 

Lastly, Mr. Chaudhary, contended that since bail petitioners have 

already joined the investigation, as such, there is no occasion for 

their   custodial  interrogation  and   they   being  local   resident   of   the 

area deserve to be enlarged on bail.

7. Learned   Additional   Advocate   General,   while   fairly 

acknowledging   the   factum   with   regard   to   joining   of   the 

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investigation by the bail petitioners, opposes the prayer made  in 

the petition for grant of bail and contends that keeping in view the 

.

gravity of offence allegedly committed by the bail petitioners, they 

do not deserve any leniency, rather needs to be dealt with severely. 

Learned Additional Advocate General further contends that though 

it has come in the investigation that there is dispute pending inter  

se  the parties in the Court of learned Rent Controller Kullu, but 

that   cannot   be   a   ground   to   seek   bail   because   admittedly   on 

19.6.2018   complainant/prosecutrix   was   not   only   attacked   by   the 

bail petitioners, but attempt was also made by the bail petitioner 

No.1 to outrage the modesty of the complainant/prosecutrix, who is 

a minor.  Learned Additional Advocate General submits that there 

may   be   certain   inconsistencies   in   the   statement   recorded   under 

Section 164  Cr.P.C. vis­a­vis statement recorded under Section 154 

Cr.P.C, but if the statement recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C., is 

carefully perused, it certainly suggest that on the date of alleged 

accident   bail   petitioner   No.2   made   an   attempt   to   kill   the 

complainant/prosecutrix and in this process the bail petitioner No.1 

behaved indecently and as such, they do not deserve to be enlarged 

on bail.

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8. Having   carefully   heard   the   learned   counsel   for   the 

parties and perused the record, it is quite apparent that there is 

.

prior litigation between the parties pending adjudication before the 

learned Rent Controller,Kullu. It is  also not in dispute that mother 

of the complainant is a tenant of   the bail petitioners and in past 

also, they had some dispute and in that regard complaint was made 

to Superintendent of Police, Kullu. It is also not in dispute that on 

the date of alleged incident i.e. on 19.6.2018, petitioner No.2 also 

filed FIR No. 143 of 2018, dated 19.6.2018 under Sections 341, 323, 

504   and   506   of   IPC   against   the   complainant   and   her   mother. 

During investigation in the aforesaid FIR, it has emerged that bail 

petitioner No.1, who happened to be son of  petitioner No.2, was not 

present on the spot on the date of alleged accident. Similarly, this 

Court   finds   considerable   force   in   the   arguments   of   Mr.   Vijay 

Chaudhary, learned counsel that there is an attempt on the part of 

the   complainant   to   make   major   improvements   in   her   statement 

recorded  under Section 164 Cr.P.C., because     admittedly,  certain 

new   facts   have   been   mentioned   in   statement   recorded   under 

Section   164   Cr.P.C,   which   were   otherwise   not   disclosed   by   the 

complainant­prosecutrix   at   the   time   of   her   initial   statement 

recorded under Section 154 Cr.P.C.  Moreover, at this stage, there 

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is no direct or indirect evidence adduced on record  to substantiate 

the   allegations   raised   by   the   complainant/prosecutrix   or   her 

.

mother.

9. True, it is that as per the medical evidence adduced on 

record,   Medical   Officer   has   opined   that   manhandling   and   sexual 

assault   of   victim   cannot   be   ruled   out,   but   as   has   been   noticed 

hereinabove,   on   19.6.2018,   the   complainant   had   scuffle   with 

petitioner   No.2   and   as   such,   possibility   of   complainant   having 

suffered injury, as pointed out by the Medical Officer in the scuffle 

allegedly took place between petitioner No.2 and the complainant 

cannot be ruled out.  Though, aforesaid aspects of the matter are to 

be considered and decided by the learned court below on the basis of 

the     evidence,   if   any,   collected   on   record   by   the   prosecution, 

however, at this stage, this Court taking note of the fact that the 

bail petitioners have already joined the investigation and are fully 

cooperating with the investigating agency,  sees no reason  for their 

custodial   interrogation.   Moreover,   it   has   been   informed   that   the 

investigation   is   almost   complete   and   nothing   is   required   to   be 

recovered from the bail petitioners and as such, this Court sees no 

reason to keep the bail petitioners behind the bars during the trial. 

It is not in dispute that both the bail petitioners are local resident 

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of the area and no material has been placed on record suggestive of 

the fact that in the event of their being enlarged on bail, there is 

.

every likelihood of their  fleeing from the justice.

10. By now it is well settled that freedom of an individual 

is   of   utmost   importance   and   cannot   be   curtailed   for   indefinite 

period. Till the time guilt of accused is not proved, in accordance 

with  law,  he  is   deemed  to  be  innocent.   In  the  case  at  hand,  the 

guilt, if any, of the bail petitioners is yet to be proved, in accordance 

with law.

11. Recently, the Hon’ble Apex Court in Criminal Appeal 

No. 227/2018, Dataram Singh vs. State of Uttar Pradesh  Anr 

decided   on   6.2.2018   has   categorically   held   that   freedom   of   an 

individual is  of utmost importance and same cannot be curtailed 

merely on the basis of suspicion. Hon’ble Apex Court has further 

held that till the time guilt of accused is not proved, in accordance 

with law, he is deemed to be innocent. The relevant paras No.2 to 5 

of the judgment are reproduced as under:­

2. A fundamental postulate of criminal jurisprudence  
is the presumption of innocence, meaning thereby that  
a person is believed to be innocent until found guilty.  
However,   there   are   instances   in   our   criminal   law  
where a reverse onus has been placed on an accused  
with   regard   to   some   specific   offences   but   that   is  
another   matter   and   does   not   detract   from   the  
fundamental postulate in respect of other offences. Yet  

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another   important   facet   of   our   criminal  
jurisprudence is that the grant of bail is the general  
rule and putting a person in jail or in a prison or in a  
correction home (whichever expression one may wish  

.

to use)  is  an exception.  Unfortunately,  some  of these  
basic principles appear to have been lost sight of with  

the   result   that   more   and   more   persons   are   being  
incarcerated and for longer periods. This does not do  
any   good   to   our   criminal   jurisprudence   or   to   our  

society.

3. There is no doubt that the grant or denial of bail is  
entirely the discretion of the judge considering a case  
but   even   so,   the   exercise   of   judicial   discretion   has  
been   circumscribed   by   a   large   number   of   decisions  

rendered by this Court and by every High Court in the  
country.   Yet,   occasionally   there   is   a   necessity   to  
introspect whether denying bail to an accused person  
is   the   right   thing   to   do   on   the   facts   and   in   the  

circumstances of a case.

4. While so introspecting, among the factors that need  

to be considered is whether the accused was arrested  
during investigations  when that person  perhaps  has  
the   best   opportunity   to   tamper   with   the   evidence   or  
influence   witnesses.   If   the   investigating   officer   does  

not   find   it   necessary   to   arrest   an   accused   person  
during investigations, a strong case should be made  
out for placing that person in judicial custody after a  
charge   sheet   is   filed.   Similarly,   it   is   important   to  

ascertain   whether   the   accused   was   participating   in  
the   investigations   to   the   satisfaction   of   the  

investigating   officer   and   was   not   absconding   or   not  
appearing when  required by the investigating officer.  
Surely,   if   an   accused   is   not   hiding   from   the  
investigating officer or is hiding due to some genuine  

and expressed fear of being victimised, it would be a  
factor   that   a   judge   would   need   to   consider   in   an  
appropriate case. It is also necessary for the judge to  
consider whether the accused is a first­time offender  
or   has   been   accused   of   other   offences   and   if   so,   the  
nature   of   such   offences   and   his   or   her   general  
conduct. The poverty or the deemed indigent status of  
an accused is also an extremely important factor and  
even   Parliament   has   taken   notice   of   it   by  
incorporating   an   Explanation   to Section   436 of   the  
Code   of   Criminal   Procedure,   1973.   An   equally   soft  
approach   to   incarceration   has   been   taken   by  

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Parliament   by   inserting Section   436A in  the   Code of  
Criminal Procedure, 1973.

5. To put it shortly, a humane attitude is required to  
be   adopted   by   a   judge,   while   dealing   with   an  

.

application   for   remanding   a   suspect   or   an   accused  
person to police custody or judicial custody. There are  

several   reasons   for   this   including   maintaining   the  
dignity   of   an   accused   person,   howsoever   poor   that  
person might be, the requirements of Article 21 of the  

Constitution   and   the   fact   that   there   is   enormous  
overcrowding in prisons, leading to social and other  
problems as noticed by this Court in In Re­Inhuman  
Conditions in 1382 Prisons

12. Needless   to   say   object   of   the   bail   is   to   secure   the 

attendance   of   the   accused   in   the   trial   and   the   proper   test   to   be 

applied   in   the   solution   of   the   question   whether   bail   should   be 

granted   or   refused   is   whether   it   is   probable   that   the   party   will 

appear to take his trial.  Otherwise, bail is not to be withheld as a 

punishment.    Otherwise  also, normal rule is of bail and not jail. 

Court has to keep in mind nature of accusations, nature of evidence 

in support thereof, severity of the punishment which conviction will 

entail, character of the accused, circumstances which are peculiar 

to the accused involved in that crime. 

13. The Hon’ble Apex Court in Prasanta Kumar Sarkar  

v.   Ashis   Chatterjee   and  Another  (2010)  14   SCC   496,   has   laid 

down the  following  principles  to  be kept  in  mind,  while   deciding 

petition for bail.

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(i) whether   there   is   any   prima­facie   or    
reasonable   ground   to   believe   that   the 
accused had committed the offence; 

.
(ii) nature and gravity of the accusation;

(iii) severity of the punishment in the event of 
conviction; 

(iv) danger   of   the   accused   absconding   or 
fleeing, if released on bail; 

(v) character,behaviour,   means,   position   and 

standing of the accused; 

(vi) likelihood of the offence being repeated; 

(vii) reasonable   apprehension   of   the   witnesses 

being influenced; and 

(viii) danger, of course, of justice being thwarted 
by grant of bail. 

14. Consequently,   in   view   of   the   above,   order   dated 

26.6.2018,   passed   by   this   Court,   is   made   absolute,   subject   to 

petitioner’s   furnishing   personal   bond   in   the   sum   of   Rs.   50,000/­ 

with one   surety in the like amount each to the satisfaction of the 

Investigating Officer, with following conditions:  

1. They   shall   make   themselves   available   for  
the purpose of interrogation, if so required  
and   regularly   attend   the   trial   Court   on  
each   and   every   date   of   hearing   and   if  
prevented   by   any   reason   to   do   so,   seek  
exemption   from   appearance   by   filing  
appropriate application;

04/07/2018 23:00:13 :::HCHP

2. They shall not tamper with the prosecution  
evidence   nor   hamper   the   investigation   of  
the case in any manner whatsoever;

.

3. They   shall   not   make   any   inducement,  
threat   or   promises   to   any   person  
acquainted with the facts of the case so as  

to dissuade her from disclosing such facts  
to the Court or the Police Officer; and

4. They shall not leave the territory of India  

without the prior permission of the Court.  

15. It is clarified that if the petitioners misuse the liberty 

or   violate   any   of   the   conditions   imposed   upon   them,   the 

investigating   agency   shall   be   free   to   move   this   Court   for 

cancellation of the bail.  

16. Any   observations   made   hereinabove   shall   not   be 

construed   to   be   a   reflection   on   the   merits   of   the   case   and   shall 

remain confined to the disposal of this application alone. 

  The petition stands accordingly disposed of.

Copy dasti.  

 (Sandeep Sharma),
   Judge
3rd July, 2018
   (shankar)

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