SANDEEP SHARMA,J. -
(1.)Through Video Conferencing Sequel to order dated 10.12.2020, whereby petitioner was ordered to be enlarged on interim bail in the event of his arrest in case FIR No. 39/2020, dated 4.12.2020, under Sections 376 and 506 of Indian Penal Code, registered at Women Police Station, Solan, District Solan, H.P., respondent-State has filed status report, prepared on the basis of investigation carried out by the Investigating Agency, perusal whereof reveals that on 4.12.2020, victim/prosecutrix, aged 24 years (name withheld) lodged a complaint at Women Police Station, Solan, alleging therein that on 17th November, 2020, bail petitioner had come to her room and sexually assaulted her on the pretext of marriage. She also alleged 1 Whether the reporters of the local papers may be allowed to see the judgment? that prior to aforesaid incident, bail petitioner had also sexually assaulted her on the pretext of marriage, when he had stayed in her room on 23.09.2020. She also alleged that bail petitioner, who has now gone to Bangluru, is refusing to marry her and as such, appropriate action in accordance with law be taken against him. In the aforesaid background, FIR detailed hereinabove, came to be lodged against the present bail petitioner under Sections 376 and 506 of IPC.
(2.)Mr. Arvind Sharma, learned Additional Advocate General, while fairly admitting the factum with regard to joining of investigation by the bail petitioner, in terms of order dated 10.12.2020, contends that though, nothing remains to be recovered from the bail petitioner, but keeping in view the gravity of the offence alleged to have been committed by the bail petitioner, he does not deserve any leniency and as such, prayer having been made on his behalf may be rejected. Mr. Sharma, further submits that in the event of petitioner being enlarged on bail, he may not only flee from justice, but may also attempt to cause harm to the victim/prosecutrix so that she doesn't depose against him in the Court of law.
(3.)Having heard learned counsel for the parties and perused the material available on record, this Court finds that victim/prosecutrix was major and had prior acquaintance with bail petitioner at the time of alleged incident. Otherwise also, there is no allegation that bail petitioner sexually assaulted victim/prosecutrix against her wishes, rather allegation is that bail petitioner sexually assaulted her on the pretext of marriage. Moreover, the complaint having been made by the victim/prosecutrix itself reveals that prior to alleged incident of 17 th November, 2020, bail petitioner had come to her room on 23 rd September, 2020 and had allegedly sexually assaulted her on the pretext of marriage, but no complaint, if any, ever came to be lodged against the bail petitioner qua the incident allegedly happened on 23 rd September, 2020, rather own statement made by the victim/prosecutrix, suggests that she again on 17 th November, 2020, permitted the bail petitioner to visit her room, when allegedly, bail petitioner sexually assaulted her on the pretext of marriage Having taken note of the conduct of victim/prosecutrix, which is quite apparent from her statements recorded under Sections 154 and 164 of Cr.P.C, this Court has reason to conclude that the victim/prosecutrix was not incapable of understanding the consequences of her being in the company of bail petitioner, especially, when it stands duly established on record that both bail petitioner and victim/prosecutrix had prior acquaintance and they wanted to solemnize the marriage. Though, the aforesaid aspects of the matter are to be considered and decided by the Court below in totality of the evidence collected on record by the Investigating Agency, but having taken note of the aforesaid glaring aspect of the matter, there appears to be no justification for custodial interrogation of the bail petitioner, who otherwise has made himself available for investigation pursuant to directions contained in order dated 10.12.2020.By now, it is well settled law that one is deemed to be innocent till his/her guilt is not proved in accordance with law and as such, it would not be fair to curtail freedom of bail petitioner for indefinite period during trial, especially when nothing remains to be recovered from him. Apprehension expressed by learned Additional Advocate General that in the event of bail petitioner being enlarged on bail, he may flee from justice, can be best met by putting him to the stringent conditions.