Read Order: Saleem @ Baba v. State of Haryana 

LE Staff

Chandigarh, July 8, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted bail to an accused in a gang-rape case following his contention that the victim and her mother have both turned hostile and have not supported the prosecution’s case.

The present petition was filed under Section 439 Cr.P.C. seeking grant of regular bail in an FIR dated February 9, 2020 registered under Sections 365 (kidnap) and 376-D (gang rape) of the Indian Penal Code at Sadhaura police station in Haryana’s Yamuna Nagar district.

The petitioner’s counsel contended that though the petitioner has been named in the FIR, the victim and her mother have both turned hostile and have not supported the case of the prosecution and their statements are placed on record.

He further contended that a similarly situated co-accused, Ravi Kumar, has been enlarged on bail by the High Court by an order dated 12th March, 2021.

A Bench of Justice Rajesh Bhardwaj in its order observed that though Manish Bansal, Deputy Attorney General, Haryana, opposed the grant of regular bail to the petitioner, he was not in a position to distinguish the petitioner’s case from that of co-accused Ravi Kumar who has been granted bail by the High Court. 

The Bench further observed that the Deputy AG was also not in a position to deny the fact that the victim and her mother have not supported the case of the prosecution.

The High Court noted that out of 14 prosecution witnesses, only eight witnesses were examined and six were yet to be examined.

Justice Bhardwaj also noted that the petitioner was arrested on February 10, 2020 and as per the custody certificate placed on record, his total custody was one year, four months and 24 days.

“In the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case, I find that learned counsel for the petitioner has succeeded in making out a case for bail to the petitioner. The present petition is allowed and the petitioner is ordered to be released on bail on his furnishing bail/surety bonds to the satisfaction of the concerned trial Court/Duty Magistrate. Nothing said herein shall be treated as an expression of opinion on the merits of the case,” stated the HC.

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