BRIEF FACTS OF THE CASE
The FIR was filed by the father of the prosecutrix (Victim) against the Applicant and another accused, stating that his 20-year-old daughter, who is a LLB student and was practicing in the High Court with the Applicant, was enticed away by the Applicant and another accused. Her date of birth was also submitted and the FIR was lodged against both, the Applicant and another accused, charged with offences punishable under Sec- 366, Sec-376, Sec-354-A, Sec-328, Sec-323, Sec-504, Sec-506 of IPC.
The prosecutrix in her statements recorded under Section 161 CrPC and Section 164 CrPC, alleged that the applicant exploited her at the initial stage and then committed sexual assault on her. She further explained the circumstances under which she was being threatened and continued to be exploited.
The accused advocate submitted that there had been an enhancement by the prosecutrix in her statement recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C. as compared to that of her statement recorded under Section 161 Cr.P.C. He further argued that the prosecutrix alleged that she had aborted her pregnancy four times but there was no evidence regarding the same. It was further submitted that she is a major as per her version, used to come to the High Court with an Advocate and was working with him and as such was in the knowledge of legal proceedings.
However, the counsel for the State and the High Court Legal Service Committee contended that the applicant, as an advocate, had exploited a girl who was a law student on the pretense of imparting legal training to her through his office and courts. It was further contended that the victim had explained the circumstances under which she was being threatened and was continued to be exploited. And so far as the physical assault is concerned, the doctor found injuries on her body which confirm her version in the statements recorded.
OBSERVATIONS OF COURT
- After hearing the learned counsel of both the parties and observing the record, the Court observed that it is evident that Applicant was named in the FIR and the statements of prosecutrix recorded under Sec-161 CR.P.C. and Sec-164 CR.P.C. They said that name of applicant and role assigned to him was consistent throughout and allegations were of sexual assault and physical assault, which had continued for substantial long period.
- Court considered the fact that prosecutrix was a junior in the office of applicant and the allegations were against, a person who is practicing law and a person in uniform, who is involved in a noble profession. Court remarked that the “office of a lawyer is not less respected than Courts of law.”
- Court observed that the act complained of by her against applicant, is told by her in the statements recorded under Sec-161 CR.P.C. and Sec-164 CR.P.C. They observed that there was no reason spelt out as to why the applicant was falsely implicated. The investigation for other accused persons is still pending and the apprehension of learned counsels for the State and the applicant being in a position to influence the investigation and tamper with the evidence cannot be ruled out. Looking to all the facts and circumstances of the case, court did not find it a fit case for bail and hence the bail application was rejected.
– Vaishali Jain, Advocate & Associate – POSH at Work & Riddhima Khanna