Decided on April 16,2021

Lopsong Lama Yolmo Appellant


MEENAKSHI MADAN RAI,J. - (1.) The Petitioner, Principal of a School, aged about 58 years, is accused of the offence under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 ('POCSO Act') and Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. He was arrested on 03.03.2021 in connection with Namchi Police Station Case bearing FIR No.07/2021 of the same date.
(2.) Learned Senior Counsel for the Petitioner, apart from submitting that the Petitioner is innocent and falsely implicated in the instant case urged that he is a responsible person running a well established Private School and is also a Politician having been elected as a Councillor and given the responsibility of Vice Chairman of the Gorkha Territorial Administration. That, he is a well reputed Social Worker and owns large property in South Sikkim. That, the investigation in the matter has been completed and he is no longer required in custody. That, the FIR was lodged on 03.03.2021 and he has been hospitalized from 04.03.2021 (forty four days) on account of his numerous ailments. On this count, reliance was placed on the medical document addressed by the Medical Superintendent, Namchi Hospital to the Assistant Superintendent of Police (Prison), Namchi, South Sikkim, dated 01.04.2021. It was urged by Learned Senior Counsel that the Petitioner is suffering from Diabetes Mellitus, Heart disease, Dyslipidemia, Hypertension, Hyperuricemia and Renal Calculus. That, the Doctor has observed that a Hypoglycemic attack may occur at any time of the night and has to be tackled urgently, this ground alone suffices for grant of bail. That, the Statement of the victim was recorded under Sections 164 and 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 wherein an effort has been made by her to improve her case. The Petitioner is also responsible for the education of his niece and nephew for whom he bears the financial burden besides which, he is the caregiver to his 86 year old mother who lives with him. That, the previous application for bail filed by the Petitioner before the Court of the Learned Special Judge, POCSO Act, 2012 at Namchi, South Sikkim was rejected vide Order dated 15.03.2021 without due consideration of the grounds put forth. That, should the Petitioner be enlarged on bail, he is willing to abide by all conditions imposed by this Court.
(3.) Opposing the petition for bail, Learned Additional Public Prosecutor put forth the contention that the victim is a child of 17 (seventeen) years studying in the School run by the Petitioner as the Principal. That, the Petitioner while paying personal attention to the victim touched her inappropriately and gave indirect hints seeking sexual favours from her. He also verbally abused her, made her do household chores and give him massages. That, since the date of his arrest, the Petitioner has remained in the Hospital with the purpose of defeating the law. That, Charge-Sheet is yet to be submitted and further investigation in the matter is being continued during the course of which, it has come to light that the mother of the victim who was the Complainant, is being pressurized to change her Statements against the Petitioner and also that he had perpetrated the same acts on other girl Students as he did on the victim. Succour on this point was drawn from the Letter addressed by the Complainant to the concerned Chief Judicial Magistrate on 11.03.2021. That, should this Court exercise its discretion in favour of the Petitioner, in all likelihood, he will abscond as not only is he an influential person by his own admission in the submissions made by his Counsel but being a resident of West Bengal, it would be difficult to secure his presence at the trial. Moreover in all likelihood, he would return to run his School in which there are many girl Students therefore repetition of the offence cannot be ruled out for the aforementioned reasons. Hence the Petition for bail be rejected.;

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