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Date Of Decision No.21.11.2018 vs State Of Himachal Pradesh on 21 November, 2018

IN THE HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH,
SHIMLA

     Cr. MP(M) No. 1236 of 2018

.

Date of Decision No.21.11.2018
_
Jagjit Singh @ Vicky                      …….. Petitioner

Versus 

State of Himachal Pradesh                       …..Respondent.

_
Coram:

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sandeep Sharma, Judge.

Whether approved for reporting? 1 Yes.

For the petitioner:   Mr. T.S.Chauhan, Advocate.

       For the respondent: Mr. S.C.Sharma, Mr. Dinesh Thakur

  Mr.   Sanjeev   Sood,   Additional
Advocate   Generals,   with   Mr.   Amit
Kumar, Deputy Advocate General.

_
Sandeep Sharma, Judge (oral):

Bail petitioner, namely Jagjit Singh @ Vicky,   has

approached this Court in the instant proceedings filed under

Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, praying therein

for grant of pre­arrest bail in relation to FIR No.17 of 2018,

dated 13.09.2018, under Sections 376, 506 of IPC read with

Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000, registered

at Women Police Station, Sadar, District Una, H.P.

1

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

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2

2. Sequel to orders dated 18.9.2018  31.10.2018, ASI

Asha Devi has come present alongwith the record. Mr. Dinesh

.

Thakur, learned Additional Advocate General has also placed

on   record   fresh   status   report,   prepared   on   the   basis   of   the

investigation carried out by the Investigating Agency. Record

perused and returned. 

3. Careful perusal of the record/status report, reveals

that complainant  (hereinafter referred to as prosecutrix)

lodged   a   complaint   on   13.9.2018   at   Women   Police   Station,

Sadar, District Una, H.P., alleging therein that present bail

petitioner,   who   was   of   her   prior   acquaintance,   sexually

assaulted her against her wishes and threatened her that in

case she discloses anything to her parents or her relatives, he

would eliminate her. Prosecutrix further alleged that after the

alleged   incident   of   sexual   intercourse,   bail   petitioner

alongwith   his   friends   namely,     Naresh   Kumar   and   Goldy

Kumar started teasing her and they uploaded her photographs

on   the   face   book     and   Internet.   She     also   alleged   that   bail

petitioner after loading her photographs on the face book and

Internet   kept   on   pressuring   her   for   maintaining   physical

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relations with him. She  further alleged that her photographs

loaded on the face book and Internet have been seen by her

.

relatives and villagers and as such, she has no option, but to

self  immolate.     On   the   basis   of   aforesaid   complaint,   FIR

detailed hereinabove, came to be lodged against the present

bail   petitioner   and   other   co­accused   namely,   Naresh   Kumar

and Goldy at Women Police Station, Sadar, District Una, H.P.

under Sections 376, 354­A, 354­C, 354­D, 506 and 34 IPC and

Section 67 of Information Technology Act.

4.   Police   also   got   the   statement   of   prosecutrix

recorded   under   Section   164   Cr.P.C,   wherein   she   reiterated

what she stated in her initial complaint made to the police on

13.9.2018,   contents   whereof   have   already   taken   note

hereinabove.     Police   also   got   the   prosecutrix   medically

examined on 13.9.2018 and Medical Officer vide report dated

18.9.2018   opined   that   there   is   nothing   to   suggest   that

prosecutrix was sexually assaulted. Police also seized mobile

phone of   present bail petitioner and sent the same to RFSL,

Dharamshala for extracting/retrieving    the data   with regard

to   uploading   of   photographs   of   prosecutrix.   RFSL,

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Dharamshala   vide   report   dated   26.9.2018,   has   categorically

recorded   that   no   data   related   to   the   case   was   found   in   the

.

exhibits   marked     as   Ex.­3   and   Q­1   i.e.   smart   phone   and

memory card of present bail petitioner.

5. Mr. T.S.Chauhan, learned counsel representing the

bail   petitioner,   while   inviting   attention   of   this   Court   to   the

record/status report, vehemently argued that no case, if any, is

made out against the  bail petitioner under Sections 376, 354­

A, 354­C, 354­D, 506 and 34 IPC and Section 67 of Information

Technology Act, and as such, he deserves to be enlarged on

bail.   While   referring   to   the   medical   evidence   adduced   on

record by the Investigating Agency, Mr. Chauhan, contended

that it has specifically opined by the Doctor that prosecutrix

was   not   sexually   assaulted.   He   further   contended   that   it

stands   duly   proved   with   the   report   of   RFSL,   Dharamshala

that bail petitioner had not uploaded the photographs of the

prosecutrix, as alleged by her. Lastly, Mr. Chauhan, contended

that   investigation   in   the   case   is   complete   and   nothing   is

required to be recovered from the bail petitioner and as such,

he   deserves   to   be   enlarged   on   bail.   Mr.   Chauhan,   further

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contended   that   pursuant   to   order   dated   18.9.2018,   bail

petitioner   has   joined  the   investigation   and   fully   cooperating

.

and   as   such,   his   custodial   interrogation   is   not   required.   He

being first offender deserves to be enlarged on bail.

6. Mr.   Dinesh   Thakur,   learned   Additional   Advocate

General, while fairly acknowledging the factum with regard to

completion of investigation, contended that pursuant to order

dated   18.9.2018,   bail   petitioner   has   joined   the   investigation

and   is   fully   cooperating.   He   also   admitted   that   as   per   the

report   submitted   by   the   RFSL,   no   data   has   been   recovered

from   the   phone   of   the   bail   petitioner,   suggestive   of   the   fact

that he had uploaded the photographs  of prosecutrix on the

face book and Internet.  He further contended that  keeping in

view the gravity of the   offences allegedly committed by the

bail petitioner, he does not  deserves to be enlarged on bail.  

7. Having heard learned counsel for the parties and

perused the material available on record, this Court finds that

prosecutrix is major and alleged incident is of December, 2017,

whereas,   FIR   mentioned   hereinabove,   came   to   be   lodged   on

13.9.2018   i.e   approximately   after   one   year   and   there   is   no

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explanation rendered on record by the prosecutrix that why for

such   long   period     she   kept   mum,   rather   her   own   initial

.

statement   given   to   the   police   and   subsequent   statement

recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C. suggest that she had prior

acquaintance   with   the   bail   petitioner   and   they   had   been

meeting   each   other.   Even   contents   of   the   FIR   suggest   that

prosecutrix lodged the complaint only when her photographs

allegedly came to be uploaded on the face book and Internet

and admittedly prior to that she never lodged the complaint, if

any ,with regard to aforesaid incident either to her parents,

police or to her any friends.

8. Leaving   everything   aside,   medical   evidence

adduced on record, nowhere suggest that the prosecutrix was

subjected   to   forcibly   sexual   intercourse,   as   alleged   by   her.

Similarly,   report   submitted   by   the   RFSL,   Dharamshala

suggests that no data with regard to the case was found in the

mobile  phone of the bail petitioner. Though, aforesaid aspects

of the matter are to be considered and decided by the court

below   on   the   basis   of   the   totality   of   evidence   collected   on

record   by   the   investigating   agency,   but   having   perused   the

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material available on record at this stage, this Court sees no

reason   for   the   custodial   interrogation   of   bail   petitioner,

.

especially when he has already joined the investigation and is

fully cooperating, as has been fairly admitted by the learned

Additional Advocate General.  Otherwise also, it is well settled

that till the time guilt of a person is  not proved in accordance

with law, he/she is deemed to be innocent.

9. It has been repeatedly held by Hon’ble Apex Court

as well as this Court that freedom of an individual cannot be

curtailed for indefinite period, especially when his/her guilt is

yet to be proved, in accordance with law.

10. 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  held that freedom of

an   individual   cannot   be   curtailed   for   indefinite   period,

especially when his guilt has not been proved. It has further

held by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the aforesaid judgment that

a   person   is   believed   to   be   innocent   until   found   guilty.   The

Hon’ble Apex Court has held as under:­

2.   A   fundamental   postulate   of   criminal
jurisprudence   is   the   presumption   of   innocence,
meaning   thereby   that   a   person   is   believed   to   be

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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   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.

11. By now it is well settled that gravity alone cannot

be decisive ground to deny bail, rather competing factors are

required   to   be   balanced   by   the   court   while   exercising   its

discretion.   It   has   been   repeatedly   held   by   the   Hon’ble   Apex

Court   that   object   of   bail   is   to   secure   the   appearance   of   the

accused person at his trial by reasonable amount of bail. The

object of bail is neither punitive nor preventative.  The Hon’ble

Apex Court in Sanjay Chandra versus Central Bureau of

Investigation  (2012)1   Supreme   Court   Cases   49;   wherein   it

has been held as under:­

” The object of bail is to secure the appearance of
the   accused   person   at   his   trial   by   reasonable
amount   of   bail.   The   object   of   bail   is   neither
punitive nor preventative. Deprivation of liberty
must be considered a punishment, unless it can
be required to ensure that an accused person will
stand his trial when called upon. The Courts owe

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9

more   than   verbal   respect   to   the   principle   that
punishment   begins   after   conviction,   and   that
every   man   is   deemed   to   be   innocent   until   duly
tried and duly found guilty. Detention in custody

.

pending completion of trial could be a cause of

great   hardship.   From   time   to   time,   necessity
demands   that   some   unconvicted   persons   should
be held in custody pending trial to secure  their
attendance   at   the   trial   but   in   such   cases,

“necessity”   is   the   operative   test.   In   India   ,   it
would   be   quite   contrary   to   the   concept   of
personal   liberty   enshrined   in   the   Constitution
that any person should be punished in respect of

any   matter,   upon   which,   he   has   not   been
convicted or that in any circumstances, he should
be deprived of his liberty upon only the belief that
he   will   tamper   with   the   witnesses     if   left   at
liberty,   save   in   the   most   extraordinary

circumstances.   Apart   from   the   question   of

prevention being the object of refusal of bail, one
must   not   lose   sight     of   the   fact   that   any
imprisonment before conviction has a substantial
punitive   content   and   it   would   be   improper   for

any court to refuse bail as a mark of disapproval
of former conduct whether the accused has been
convicted   for   it   or   not   or   to   refuse   bail   to   an
unconvicted person for the propose of giving him

a taste of imprisonment as a lesson.”

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

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10

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:

(i) to
whether   there   is   any   prima   facie   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

18.09.2018, passed by this Court, is made absolute, subject to

petitioner’s furnishing personal bonds in the sum of Rs. 1,00,000/­

(   Rs.   One   Lakh)   with   one   surety   in   the   like   amount,   to   the

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satisfaction   of   the   Investigating   Officer,   besides   the     following

conditions:  

.

a. He shall make himself 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;

b. He shall not tamper with the prosecution evidence
nor   hamper   the   investigation   of   the   case   in   any

manner whatsoever;

c. He     shall   not   make   any   inducement,   threat   or
promises to any person acquainted with the facts
of the case so as to dissuade them from disclosing

such facts to the Court or the Police Officer; and

d. He shall not leave the territory of India without the
prior permission of the Court. 

15. It   is   clarified   that   if   the   petitioner   misuses   his

liberty or violates any of the conditions imposed upon him, the

investigating   agency   shall   be   free   to   move   this   Court   for

cancellation of his  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 bail petition stands disposed of accordingly.

Copy dasti.  

 (Sandeep Sharma),
   Judge
21st  November, 2018
        (shankar)

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