Delhi HC grants bail to sexual assault accused, cites delay in recording supplementary statement

ILNS: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday released a man on bail accused for sexually assaulting a woman under section 354B r/w of 506 Indian Penal Code due to the difference in the initial version of complaint and also for considerable delay in recording of the supplementary statement of the complainant.

Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri ordered the release of the man by considering the aspect that the FIR was lodged after a lapse of 1 year and 2 months, as well as after considering the supplementary statement made by the complainant, nearly after 2 years of the FIR, that introduced new aspects to the case which were not at all mentioned earlier before the magistrate and proves that the case is not a rape case under Section 376 IPC.

However, while granting bail it was expressed that with respect to the provisions of grant of bail that: “Needless to state that nothing observed hereinabove shall amount to an expression on the merits of the case and shall not have a bearing on the trial of the case.”

The brief facts of the case as per complainant’s statement recorded before the magistrate u/s 164 CrPC is that after calling the complainant to his office, the accused grabbed her (complainant) and took off her clothes. She did not resist as the accused had earlier promised to marry her. She had stated that the petitioner ‘did everything’ and ‘even tried to penetrate’ but that did not happen as she was scared.

It was submitted by Additional Public Prosecutor Sanjeev Sabharwal that after filing of the charge sheet, a supplementary statement of the complainant was recorded on 25.05.2021 in which the complainant has further clarified the allegations. Lastly, it was submitted that at the time of initial meeting the marital status of the petitioner was not disclosed to the complainant.

The Counsel for the Accused Mr. D.K. Singh argued that the FIR is vague as no address of the place, where the alleged incident happened, has been provided. He also submitted that there is a delay of 1 year and 2 months in lodging the present FIR. He further submitted that after filing of the present application, a charge sheet has now been filed under Sections 354/354A/354B/376/417/420/468/ 471/506/201 IPC while the FIR was lodged only under section 354B/ 506.

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Justice Ohri observed: “It is only in the statement stated to be recorded on 25.05.2021, nearly two years after the incident and that too after the last date of hearing in the present bail application, the allegations of insertion of finger and rubbing of petitioner’s private part on the private part of the complainant have been made.”

The accused was ordered to be released on bail after furnishing personal bond of Rs. 50,000 with one surety of the like amount
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