Bombay HC Grants Bail to a Rape Accused, Notes Woman Pressed False Charges

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A bail application was filed by an applicant accused of an offence under Section 376(2)(N) of the Indian Penal Code. After assessing the facts of the case, Bombay HC grants bail to the accused.

Brief Facts of the Case

A complaint was filed against the applicant under Section 376(2)(N) of the Indian Penal Code at the Kandivali Police Station. The applicant was arrested on 20 March 2020 and has been incarcerated since. The applicant had applied for bail before the Metropolitan Magistrate ere the charge-sheet was filed. However, the aforesaid application was rejected. In light of the above, the applicant has approached the Bombay High Court by way of a Bail Application.

Applicant’s Submissions

The applicant stated that he had a close friendship with the complainant, which was initially encouraged by her. The complainant maintained a physical relationship with the applicant and did not object to the same from January 2019 to March 2020, until the filing of the complaint. At the time of the aforesaid physical relationship, the complainant was 24 years old. The aforesaid physical relationship was thus a conscious choice taken by an adult. The complainant had also accompanied the applicant to several places where they engaged in physical contact. In March 2020, when the relationship between the applicant and the complainant did not turn well, she decided to file the complaint.

The applicant submits that he has been in custody since March 2020. Since, prima facie no case of forceful sexual act has been made out, the Applicant requests to be set out on bail. The applicant further submits that he will co-operate with the Investigating Officer.

Court’s Observation

The court observed that the complainant came to know the applicant through Facebook. She divulged certain personal details, including her divorce to the applicant. Eventually, the two became close, and a physical relationship developed between the two. They engaged in physical contact multiple times, and there was also an exchange of money. Their relationship had a fallout, the details of which are mentioned in the complaint lodged by the complainant. The relationship between the complainant and the applicant was consensual. The complainant filed the report only after their relationship turned sour at the behest of her father. The court observed that prima facie no case was made out against the applicant for forced sexual contact.

Court’s Decision

The court directed the applicant to co-operate and make himself available for the trial whenever required. The court accepted the bail application and held the following –

  1. That the applicant is released on bail after executing P.R. bond of Rs. 20,000/- and furnishing securities;
  2. That the applicant must not directly or indirectly communicate with any person acquainted with the facts of the case or tamper with evidence;
  3. That he shall provide his residential address & contact information to the Investigating Officer.
  4. That he shall report for medical examination as and when directed by the Investigating Officer.

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