SANDEEP SHARMA,J. -
(1.) Through Video Conferencing Bail petitioner namely Shyab Abassi, who is behind the bars since 11th September, 2020, has approached this Court in the instant proceedings filed under Section 439 Cr.PC, for grant of regular bail in FIR No. 123/2020, dated 11.09.2020, under Sections 366, 376, 506 and 120-B of IPC and under Section 4 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, registered at Police Station Puruwala, District Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh.
(2.) Respondent-State has filed status report, in terms of order dated 11.12.2020. ASI Ravinder Singh has come present with record. Close scrutiny of record/status report reveals that on 11.9.2020, complainant, ,i.e. mother of victim-prosecutrix (name withheld) lodged a complaint with Sub Divisional Police Officer, Paonta Sahib, District Sirmaur, alleging therein that bail petitioner, namely Shyab Abassi, came in the contact of her family at Vikasnagar during marriage of her sister and thereafter, he expressed his desire to solemnize marriage with her minor daughter, i.e. victim-prosecutrix, aged 17 years. She disclosed to the police that bail petitioner was made to understand that since victim prosecutrix is minor at this juncture, proposal of marriage given by him would be considered at an appropriate time. However, since, despite aforesaid, bail petitioner did not stop teasing and threatening the victim prosecutrix, complainant allegedly made complaint to his father, but he also reiterated that his son wants to solemnize marriage with victim prosecutrix. In her complaint given to police, complainant alleged that on 16th June, 2020, bail petitioner had come to her house on account of birthday of victim-prosecutrix, but in the night of aforesaid date, bail petitioner on the pretext of marriage, maintained physical relations with her minor daughter. She alleged that on 20 th June, 2020, bail petitioner called the victim-prosecutrix to Vishwa Karma Chowk, from where he made her elope with him on the pretext of marriage. Complaint filed on behalf of the complainant reveals that bail petitioner took victim prosecutrix to Delhi, Ghaziabad and repeatedly sexually assaulted her against her wishes. She alleged that victim-prosecutrix informed her over telephone that she has been forcibly kept in a room at Ghaziabad and is being maltreated by bail petitioner and his family members.
Complainant alleged that the family of the bail petitioner including bail petitioner gave her beatings and kept her in illegal confinement against her wishes. She alleged that after some time, bail petitioner dropped her minor daughter at her uncle's place in Ghaziabad from where she was brought back to home by her. In the aforesaid background, complainant prayed to the police to take appropriate action in accordance with law against the bail petitioner and other family members. On 11 th September, 2020, police got victim-prosecutrix medically examined and obtained MLC from the Medical Officer concerned. After getting statement of victim-prosecutrix recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C before the Court of learned Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate, Paonta Sahib, police besides naming bail petitioner in the FIR detailed hereinabove, also named other family members, namely, Bashir Ahmad, Fatima, and Aasu. Co-accused namely, Bashir Ahmad, Fatima, and Aasu already stand enlarged on bail, whereas, present bail petitioner is behind the bars since 11 th September, 2020. Investigation in the case is complete and challan stands filed in the competent court of law.
(3.) Mr. Arvind Sharma, learned Additional Advocate General while admitting the factum with regard to filing of challan in the competent court of law, contends that keeping in view the gravity of the office alleged to have been committed by bail petitioner, he does not deserve any leniency and as such, prayer having been made on his behalf for grant of bail may be rejected. Mr. Sharma, while making this Court to peruse the status report, states that there is overwhelming evidence collected on record by the Investigating Agency, suggestive of the fact that bail petitioner in connivance with other family members, firstly made the victim-prosecutrix elope with him on the pretext of marriage and thereafter subjected her to maltreatment and mental harassment. Mr. Sharma, further contends that though evidence collected on record clearly suggests that bail petitioner taking undue advantage of minority and innocence of victim/prosecutrix made her elope with him, on the pretext of marriage and thereafter sexually assaulted her against her wishes, but even otherwise, consent, if any of victim-prosecutrix is immaterial on account of her age and as such, the bail petition having been filed by bail petitioner may kindly be rejected.;