In the matter of J S Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh, the Allahabad High Court on 17.08.2021 lamented about the rise of child sexual abuse cases in India and rejected the bail application of a man who was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl
Facts– The victim girl was alone at home when the accused forcibly entered the house and threatened to kill the victim. He dragged her by the hair inside a room and committed the act of rape upon her. When the family members entered the house, they found the victim lying unconscious without any clothes and they apprehended the accused who was trying to escape by scaling a wall. Once the victim gained consciousness, she narrated the entire incident and the police were called, leading to the arrest of the accused.
The accused argued that he was in a romantic relationship with the victim and she was the one who called him home when she was alone. However, the family caught hold of him. He also stated that there was a land dispute between him and the victim’s family and the case is filed to falsely implicate him.
The prosecution on the other hand contested the claim of the accused by stating that he already had six criminal cases against him and cited the medical reports along with the statement of the victim which proved that the offence of rape had been committed.
Observations of the Court
- The Court observed that the accused had not come to the court with clean hands and had tried to suppress his criminal history. The medical report also stated that signs of violence and sexual assault couldn’t be ruled out.
- The Court cited two judgments by the Hon’ble Supreme Court where it has been held that the courts must exercise their discretionary powers to grant bail judiciously in case of habitual offenders and the criminal history of the accused cannot be ignored while deciding on the matter of bail. [Neeru Yadav v. State of Uttar Pradesh (2015); Sudha Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh (2021)].
- Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh remarked that –
“In this case, a small innocent girl has been raped, who does not understand its meaning. Little girls are worshiped in our country, but the cases of paedophilia are increasing. Rape is a heinous crime. The victim suffers from psychological effects of embarrassment, disgust, depression, guilt and even suicidal tendencies. Many cases go unreported. In almost rape cases, the victim was unwilling to report the name of the abuser. The families of the victim remain silent about the sexual offences in order toprotect the family image. The victim/female small child experience sexualabuse once tend to be more vulnerable to abuse in adult life. Healing is slow and systematic. In such a situation, if the right decision is not takenfrom the Court at the righttime, then the trust of a victim/common manwill not be left in the judicial system. This is the time to strictly stop this kind of crime.”
Considering all the facts of the case, the arguments advanced, the gravity of the crime and the impact on the victim, the Court found no good reason to grant bail to the accused. Hence, the bail application was rejected.
– Vaishali Jain, Advocate & Associate – POSH at Work & Rhea Bazaz, Final Year Student, Symbiosis Law School, Pune