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Date Of Decision No.25.10.2018 vs State Of Himachal Pradesh on 25 October, 2018

IN THE HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH, 
SHIMLA

     Cr. MP(M) No. 1315 of 2018

.

Date of Decision No.25.10.2018
_
Sushil Kumar                      …….. 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. Nimish Gupta, Advocate. 

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

Thakur,   Mr.   Sanjeev   Sood,   Addl. 

Advocate   Generals,   with   Mr.   Amit 
Kumar, Deputy Advocate General..

_

Sandeep Sharma, Judge (oral):

Bail   petitioner   namely,   Sushil   Kumar,   who   is 

behind the bars since 7.2.2018, has approached this Court in 

the instant proceedings filed under Section 439 of the Code of 

Criminal Procedure, praying therein for grant of regular bail 

in case FIR No.37 of 2018, dated 5.2.2018, under Sections 363, 

376 of IPC and Section 4 of the Protection of Children from 

1
Whether the reporters of the local papers may be allowed to see the judgment?

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2

Sexual   Offences   Act,   registered   at   police   Station,   Sadar 

District Mandi, Himachal Pradesh.

.

2. Sequel   to   orders   dated   5th/11th  October,   2018,   SI 

Pawan   Kumar,   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. Record/status   report   reveals   that   FIR,   detailed 

hereinabove, came to be lodged at the behest of mother of the 

prosecutrix, who alleged that her minor daughter, who at the 

time of alleged incident was 17 years and 11 months old, has 

been   kidnapped   by   some   unknown   person.   On   the   basis   of 

aforesaid   complaint   having   been   filed   by   the   complainant, 

police made certain inquires, but fact remains that on 6.2.2018 

daughter   of   the   complainant   herself   returned   back   to   her 

residence and disclosed to her mother that bail petitioner took 

her to one hotel last night and sexually assaulted her. After 

recording the statement of the complainant, police registered a 

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case against the bail petitioner under Sections 363, 376 of IPC 

and Section 4 of the POCSO Act.

.

4. Mr.   Nimish   Gupta,   learned   counsel   representing 

the   bail   petitioner,   while   inviting   attention   of   this   Court   to 

record/status report, vehemently argued that no case is made 

out   against   the   bail   petitioner   because   there   is   no   material 

adduced on record suggestive of the fact that bail petitioner 

had kidnapped the victim/prosecutrix, rather she of her own 

volition joined the company of  bail petitioner and remained in 

his   company.   He   further   contended   that   medical   evidence 

adduced on record, nowhere suggests commission of offence, if 

any, under Section 376 IPC  committed by the bail petitioner. 

While   referring   to   the   previous   medical   history   of     victim/ 

prosecutrix,   Mr.   Gupta,   made   an   attempt   to   persuade   this 

Court to agree with his contention that prosecutrix is habitual 

and as such, bail petitioner, who is behind the bars   for the 

last more than  9 months, deserves to be enlarged on bail. He 

further   contended   that   challan   stands   already   filed   in   the 

competent   Court   of   law   and   since   nothing   is  required   to   be 

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recovered   from   the   bail   petitioner,   bail   petitioner   cannot   be 

allowed to incarcerate in jail for indefinite period.

.

5. Mr.   Dinesh   Thakur,   learned   Additional   Advocate 

General, while fairly acknowledging the factum with regard to 

filing of challan in the competent Court of law, contended that 

keeping in view the gravity of the  offence allegedly committed 

by the bail petitioner, he does not  deserves to be enlarged on 

bail.  Learned Additional Advocate General further contended 

that   it   has   specifically   come   in   the   medical   evidence   that 

victim/prosecutrix   is   not   mentally   well   and   bail   petitioner 

taking   undue   advantage   of   her   mental   condition   not   only 

eloped with her, but also sexually assaulted her against her 

wishes.  While  refuting  the  contention of  learned counsel  for 

the   petitioner   that   nothing   has   emerged   in   the   medical 

evidence against the bail petition, learned Additional Advocate 

General, contended that it has specifically come in the medical 

evidence   that   victim/prosecutrix   was   subjected   to   sexual 

intercourse. He further contended that previous history, if any, 

of victim/ prosecutrix cannot be a ground for bail petitioner to 

seek bail in the case at hand, when admittedly it stands duly 

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proved on record that bail petitioner taking undue advantage 

of   the   innocence   of   victim   prosecutrix,   who   at   the   time   of 

.

alleged incident was minor,  sexually assaulted her.

6. Having heard learned counsel for the parties and 

perused the material available on record, this Court finds that 

it   has   specifically   come   in   the   statement   of   the   victim/ 

prosecutrix recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C that she of her 

own volition had joined the company of bail petitioner on the 

date   of   alleged   incident.   She   has   specifically   stated   in   her 

statement   given   before   the   Magistrate   that   she   of   her   own 

volition   remained   with   bail   petitioner   in   the   hotel   when 

alleged   incident   had   happened.   Otherwise   also,   as   per   first 

statement/ report made by the complainant to the police her 

daughter immediately after coming to her house had disclosed 

that bail petitioner took her in a hotel, but she nowhere stated 

that   her   daughter   disclosed   her   that   bail   petitioner   forcibly 

sexually assaulted her against her wishes.

7. Having carefully perused the statement of  victim/ 

prosecutrix   recorded   under   Section   164   Cr.P.C.,   this   Court 

finds no force in the arguments of learned Additional Advocate 

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General that since victim/prosecutrix was mentally retarded, 

statement, if any, made by her is of no consequence because 

.

there is no mention, if any, with regard to mental illness of 

prosecutrix in the statement recorded by the Magistrate under 

Section   164   Cr.P.C.   Since   factum   with   regard   to   mental 

illness, if any, of prosecutrix is/was well within the knowledge 

of the police, it is not understood why this fact was not brought 

to   the   knowledge   of   the   Magistrate,   who   recorded   her 

statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. Otherwise also, careful 

perusal of the statement having been made by the prosecutrix 

under Section 164 Cr.P.C, nowhere suggests that she is/was 

incapable of understanding/ answering the question put to her 

by   the   court,   rather   narration   of   facts   given   by   her   clearly 

suggest that she is/was capable of understanding the question 

clearly.

8. Having  carefully  perused  the   statement   made  by 

the prosecutrix before the Magistrate, this Court is persuaded 

to   agree   with   the   contention   of   Mr.   Nimish   Gupta,   learned 

counsel representing the petitioner that prosecutrix of her own 

volition without there being any pressure from the side of the 

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bail petitioner joined his company and thereafter remained in 

his company throughout the night. Apart from above, record 

.

also   reveals   that   in   past   also   prosecutrix   was   admitted   in 

hospital on account of abortion, which fact itself suggests that 

prosecutrix was capable of understanding the consequences of 

her being in the company of bail petitioner.

9.   Though, aforesaid aspects of the matter are to be 

considered and decided by the learned court below on the basis 

of the evidence collected by the prosecution, but at this stage, 

this   Court   having   perused   the   material   available   on   record 

sees no reason to allow the bail petitioner to incarcerate in jail 

for indefinite period, especially when he has already suffered 

for more than nine months in jail. 

10. 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.   Challan   stands   filed   in   the 

competent Court of law and no material has been adduced on 

record,   from   where   it   can   be   inferred   that   in   the   event   of 

petitioner’s  being  enlarged  on  bail,  he  may  flee from  justice 

and as such, this Court sees no reason to curtail the freedom of 

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the   petitioner   for   indefinite   period,   especially   when   the 

investigation in the case is almost complete. 

.

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  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  

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.

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

be decisive ground to deny bail, rather competing factors are 

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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  

has been held as under:­
r to
Investigation  (2012)1   Supreme   Court   Cases   49;   wherein   it 

” 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  

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  

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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.”

13. 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 

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accused,   circumstances   which   are   peculiar   to   the   accused 

involved in that crime. 

.

14. 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)

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. 

15. Consequently,   in   view   of   the   above,   present   bail 

petition is  allowed. Petitioner is ordered to be enlarged on bail 

subject   to   his   furnishing   personal   bond   in   the   sum   of   Rs. 

1,00,000/­   (Rs.   One   lakh)     with   one   local   surety   in   the   like 

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amount,   to   the   satisfaction   of   the   learned   trial   Court,   with 

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.   

16. 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.  

17. 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
October 25, 2018
        (shankar)

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