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Applicants Who Had Already Undergone Imprisonment Are Entitled to Be Released on Bail Till Final Decision of Appeal: Gujarat High Court

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The criminal appeal was filed against the impugned order passed by the learned Special Judge,  POCSO, Amreli in Special (POCSO) Case No. 17 of 2017 convicted for the offense punishable under section 323 of IPC r/w section 114 of Indian Evidence Act, section 12 of the POCSO Act, 2012 and a fine of Rs.500 was imposed. The appellant being aggrieved by the order challenged it in the case of Rohitbhai Rameshbhai Dobariya v. State of Gujarat (R/Cr.Appeal No.1381/2020).

Brief Facts:

The applicants were mandated punishment under section 323 of IPC to be simple imprisonment of three months, failure to which further extended imprisonment of 15 days and under section 12 of POCSO Act simple imprisonment of six months and a fine of Rs.10,000, failure to which would attract imprisonment of 30 days. On such grounds, the applicants were granted maximum imprisonment of six months leading to which applicant no.1 had already undergone punishment of three months and applicant no.2 had already undergone around 45 days.

Applicant’s Arguments:

The counsel for applicants submitted before the Court that the applicants had already filed an application under section 389 of Cr. P.C for the purpose of keeping order in abeyance but the learned Special Judge ordered irrespective of abeyance period of 30 days. Moreover, during the trial proceeding, the applicants were on bail, and therefore in such a situation, sentences passed by learned Special Judge (POCSO) order dated 05.12.2020 deserves to be suspended.

Respondent’s Arguments:

The counsel for the respondent argued before the Court that applicants have committed heinous and serious crimes which need to be prevented expeditiously by not allowing suspension of the impugned judgment passed by learned Special Judge in an order dated 05.12.2020 and if permitted such must be accompanied with appropriate conditions.

Court’s Observations:

The Court observed the argumentation of both parties and was of the opinion that applicant no.1 has successfully sustained three months of punishment in custody and applicant no.2 around 45 days in custody. The court took the reference of Bhagwan Rama Shinde V/s. State of Gujarat (1994) 4 SCC 421 which led to the suspension of sentence till the final decision of the appeal will be decided.

Court’s Decision:

The Court concluded that the impugned judgment passed by learned Special Judge via order dated 05.12.2020 in Special (POCSO) Case No. 17 of 2017 shall remain suspended  and the applicants shall be released on bail till the final decision of the appeal subject to the following conditions:

  1. The applicant shall deposit a bond of Rs.10,000 and surety of like amount to the satisfaction of the Trial Court and furnish full and permanent address along with contact number.
  2. The applicant shall submit a passport if any before the concerned Session Court.

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