SC junks pre-arrest bail challenge against journalist in rape case


The Supreme Court on Friday refused to cancel anticipatory bail granted to a Mumbai-based TV anchor, accused in a rape case registered in the national capital in February this year.

A bench comprising Justices Navin Sinha and Ajay Rastogi said there is no ground made out to interfere with the Delhi High Court order.

Counsel appearing for the victim argued that the High Court granted bail disregarding statutory changes in the rape law, and it also virtually granted benefit of doubt on selective reading of Section 164 statement too. The counsel added that for 50 days the accused evaded arrest.

The bench queried the victim’s counsel, our question is, purely for purpose of bail only, question of normal human conduct and understanding. The bench added, if a man and woman are in a room, and man makes a request and woman complies with it, do we need to say anything more at this stage?

The victim’s counsel contended the IPC states that to each act there has to be unequivocal consent. The counsel added, if there is a particular act man wants to indulge in, and there is no consent, then it’s an offence, and insisted that there was no continued consent. The bench replied that it is not impressed with the argument.

The top court was hearing a plea by the rape victim challenging the Delhi High Court’s order granting pre-arrest bail to Mumbai TV journalist Varun Hiremath, the High Court passed on May 13. The petitioner argued the High Court erroneously granted anticipatory bail in such heinous offences as rape and assault. The High Court had granted interim protection to Hiremath on the condition that he shall join the investigation whenever required.

A Delhi court had earlier issued non-bailable warrant against Hiremath. The trial in March had declined to entertain Hiremath’s anticipatory bail application in the rape case.