New Delhi, August 25: The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to a 77-year old retired Army pensioner from West Bengal accused of raping a 13-year old girl after the DNA report showed that he was not the father of the child born to the rape survivor.
A division bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul overturned a June 5 order of Calcutta High Court in this regard after the state government conceded before the Supreme Court that the DNA report showed that the accused, Jayanta Chatterjee, was not the father of the child as claimed by the survivor, Hindustan Times reported.
“In view of the aforesaid, we have no hesitation in saying that the petitioner (Chatterjee) should be enlarged on bail on the terms and conditions to the satisfaction of the trial court,” the bench which also comprised Justice Ajay Rastogi said.
“The petitioner was falsely implicated by the father of the victim because of personal enmity on account of a landlord-tenant dispute between them. The DNA test did not match with the accused meaning thereby that the petitioner was not the father of the child. Therefore, the court granted bail,” Chatterjee’s lawyer, Jayant Mohan told HT.
A case was registered against Chatterjee on May 11 at the Matigara police station based on the complaint by one Dilip Karmakar, the father of the rape survivor. Karmakar had alleged that his daughter had showed unnatural behaviour and on questioning, the girl revealed that Chatterjee had raped and impregnated her.
Chatterjee was charged for offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO) and was arrested on May 12. He was remanded to judicial custody on May 26. The rape survivor gave birth to a baby girl on July 5.
Chatterjee had contended before the Supreme Court that Karmakar, who was his tenant, was neither paying the monthly rent nor vacating the premises and the false complaint was filed to incarcerate Chatterjee.
He had also repeatedly raised the argument before the high court and top court that he is incapable of sexual activity since he is 84 years old. The state government had, however, submitted that Chatterjee was only 77 years old as per official records.
“The ludicrousness of the allegations are rife on the face of it considering the age of the petitioner. As per the well-established principles of medical jurisprudence, such allegations are improbable due to the age of the petitioner and due to ailments of diabetes and high blood sugar (which the petitioner is suffering from),” the plea stated.
The petitioner had also requested for a DNA test to prove his innocence. The Supreme Court after hearing Chatterjee’s lawyer, senior counsel Kapil Sibal, had ordered a DNA test on July 9.
With the DNA test absolving Chatterjee, he also claimed compensation against Karmakar for filing a false case.
“Senior counsel for the petitioner (Chatterjee) further submits that it is out of a landlord-tenant dispute that a false case has been filed and that he should be given appropriate compensation. If that be the position, it is for the appellant to take necessary steps in this behalf in accordance with law claiming compensation in accordance with law,” the court said.