The Allahabad High Court while denying bail to a man has observed that acquaintance and intimacy with a victim goes against the bail applicant.

A Single Bench of Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery held, “… circumstances such as factor of long consensual relationship, nature of photographs, nature of evidence in regard to allegation of pornography and rival claims on financial dispute, may be tilt towards applicant for consideration of his bail application, however, a very crucial factor still goes against applicant that he is well acquainted with victim and have intimacy also and since during trial statement of victim has not been recorded till date, therefore, at this stage, if applicant gets bail, he will definitely try to influence her.”

The Bench directed the Trial Court to record the statement of the victim expeditiously preferably within a period of three months.

Senior Advocate V.P. Srivastava and Advocate Vijay Kumar Mishra appeared for the applicant while AGA Sunil Srivastava and Advocate Yogendra Kumar Srivastava appeared for the opposite party.

In this case, the applicant was in jail since February month and approached the court for bail in connection to the offences under Sections 147, 323, 354, 354-K, 406, 504, 506, and 376 of the Indian Penal Code. The informant was the victim herself and as per her case, she approached the applicant as a client to take up her cases and during frequent interactions, they became close and entered into a relationship.

The victim alleged that the applicant gained her confidence and she even provided a room on rent for him as there was a certain dispute between the applicant and his wife, and she also gave him a loan of Rs. 40 lakhs but the applicant did not only refuse to return the money but also disappeared for some time. Thereafter, a scuffle took place between them and she was mercilessly beaten even on her private parts and also threatened to act in terms of his direction as he was involved in preparing porn films.

The High Court after hearing the contentions of the counsel noted, “There is substance in argument of learned Senior Advocate that due to certain monetary dispute, consensual relationship between applicant and victim becomes sour. However, considering the nature of evidence collected during investigation, specifically, nature of photographs placed on record of applicant and victim being intimated even in their birthday suits prima facie indicates that applicant was having some other interest and was engulfed in such activity instead of to be active and diligent towards his profession. It also appears that he used to have photographs with dignitaries including Judges to show him to be a very influential person.”

The Court further noted that the victim was trapped in the web of pornography created by the applicant and she was forced to act in terms of the directions of the applicant including to have a physical relationship with him as well as to allow him to have photographs in an indecent manner.

“As such it may not be a case of honeytrap rather the applicant has acted beyond relationship of an advocate and client and entered in an arena where social boundaries were broken and later on led to various disputes and allegations which includes financial dispute also for that there are rival claims”, said the Court.

The Court also observed that the allegation of pornography does not appear to be prima facie substantiated with evidence collected during the investigation and thereafter the victim has lodged the F.I.R. and contents thereof remained consistent in her statement recorded under Sections 161 and 164 Cr.P.C.

Accordingly, the Court rejected the bail plea.

Cause Title- Prakash Narayan Sharma @ Babali v. State of U.P. (Neutral Citation No. 2023:AHC:109491)

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