Court denies bail to gang-rape accused despite compromise

HC says extending concession will send wrong signal

Court denies bail to gang-rape accused despite compromise

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14

The Punjab and Haryana HC has refused anticipatory bail to accused in a gang-rape case even though they had entered into a compromise with the alleged victim. The Bench ruled that extending the concession for “offences like the one in hand” would send a wrong signal to society at large. The assertion came even as the state counsel submitted that custodial interrogation of the petitioners was not required.

A Coordinate Bench, vide an order dated February 12, had granted interim bail to the petitioners by taking into consideration the compromise arrived at between the prosecutrix and the accused-petitioners. Taking up the matter, Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul said the court while deciding the petition would refrain from commenting on the compromise. More so, when it was prima facie a gang-rape case. The matter stood excluded from the category of offences which could be compounded under the CrPC.

“Though the counsel for the state, on instructions, has submitted that custodial interrogation of the petitioners is not required, in the wake of the nature and gravity of the offence alleged and taking into account the tone and tenor of the compromise, there is every likelihood that the petitioners could tamper with material evidence in case they are allowed the concession of anticipatory bail,” Justice Kaul asserted.

Vicky and another petitioner had moved the court for anticipatory bail in an FIR registered on September 28 last year for rape, criminal intimidation and other offences at the Beas police station in Amritsar.

Justice Kaul asserted the allegations levelled in the FIR lodged by the prosecutrix were, prima facie, grave and specific. In her statement, the prosecutrix named the accused, including the petitioners. She also gave a vivid account on how they, along with other co-accused, armed with lethal weapons trespassed into her house in the middle of the night, while she was sleeping with her two daughters before committing gang-rape.

The petitioners, while fleeing, physically assaulted her and her family, indulged in arson by damaging her car and household articles and extended threats of dire consequences.

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