Read Order: Sarabjit v. State of Punjab
Chandigarh, August 24, 2021: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has allowed the bail plea of a woman accused in a case pertaining to the sodomy and murder of a minor boy, on the ground that the accused and co-accused in the case have already been granted bail, the star witness has turned hostile and the petitioner is not involved in any other case.
The woman was named as accused in the FIR dated December 3, 2019 under sections Sections 302, 364, 365, 377, 201 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 3 and 4 of the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), at Dera Baba Nanak police station in Punjab’s Batala district.
The counsel for the petitioner claimed that she was made an accused in the case following “extra judicial” confessions, including that made by one prosecution witness who has turned hostile and did not support the case of the prosecution.
The petitioner’s counsel also submitted that the mother of the victim boy in her cross examination stated that the petitioner has not committed any offence. It was also pointed out that the Board of Principal Magistrate, Juvenile Justice Board at Gurdaspur has also acquitted the person who had allegedly sodomized the boy.
“A reference has been made to the said judgment in which it has been recorded that most of the material witnesses have not supported the case of the prosecution. It has further been submitted that even the coaccused namely Vijay Kumar has been released on bail vide judgment dated 7.4.2021… by a co-ordinate Bench of this Court primarily on the ground that Said Vijay Kumar had been in custody since 13.12.2019 and the petitioner has undergone incarceration for a period of more than 4 months than the said Vijay Kumar,” noted the bench of Justice Vikas Bahl.
The counsel for the petitioner further submitted that petitioner is a lady and she is not involved in any other case.
The State Counsel, however, submitted that the case is at the fag end, there is a disclosure statement made by the petitioner and there was also a recovery from her of an object which was allegedly used for strangulating the minor boy.
The Bench, however, said, “Keeping in view the above facts and circumstances of the case as also the fact that the petitioner has been in custody since 13.12.2019; the star witness… has not supported the case of the prosecution; 3rd accused… has already been acquitted by the Juvenile Justice Board; co-accused has been granted regular bail by a co-ordinate Bench of this Court and the petitioner is a lady and is not involved in any other case, this Court deems it appropriate to allow the present petition”.
The High Court, thus, allowed the petition and granted bail to the petitioner.