The Supreme Court has granted anticipatory bail to an accused facing allegations of rape and sexual assault of a minor girl under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
A bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and B.V. Nagarathna said: “We have heard learned counsel for the parties without expressing any opinion on merits/demerits of the matter… the petitioner has made out a case for grant of pre-arrest bail.”
“In the event of arrest, he shall be released on bail on the terms and conditions to the satisfaction of the trial court, however, the petitioner shall cooperate and participate in the investigation. With the aforesaid directions, the Special Leave Petition stands disposed of. Pending applications also stand disposed of,” it added.
The accused, represented by criminal lawyer Namit Saxena, moved the apex court seeking pre-arrest bail which was declined by the Rajasthan High Court by order dated August 5, 2021. The case was registered at a police station in Jaipur for offences under Section 376 and 506 IPC read with 3/4 POCSO Act against the petitioner.
According to Saxena, while the complainant alleged rape, the accused alleged a false case of rape and extortion against the complainant’s family.
The top court, after hearing Saxena, noted in the order that a complaint was also filed by the father of the petitioner under Section 200 Cr.P.C against the complainant for extortion.
The top court, in its September 14 order, said: “We have gone through the complaint filed by the father of the petitioner under Section 200 Cr.P.C. It has come on record that after investigation at one stage, closure report was filed by the investigating officer and on her protest petition, the learned Magistrate has taken cognizance of the matter and directed for reinvestigation of the case by an order dated 10th October, 2019.”