The Allahabad High Court recently while considering the seriousness of the matter, has refused to grant anticipatory bail to a teacher for allegedly raping a mentally challenged minor girl belonging to a scheduled caste.

While rejecting the application, a bench of Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav observed, “In this case, a heinous crime has been committed with a minor retarded girl aged about 14 years and eight months, by the applicant, who is said to be a Teacher. In our society, "A Teacher plays a very important role in shaping the future of their students" and such conduct of the teacher would certainly create an atmosphere of fear in the minds of people of society and such perpetrator should not go unpunished and should get just punishment from the Courts of law to curb such incidents in future”.

Senior Advocate V. P. Srivastava assisted by Advocate Arun Kumar Tripathi appeared for the applicant and Government Advocate Babu Lal Ram appeared for the opposite party.

The present criminal miscellaneous anticipatory bail Application was filed seeking anticipatory bail for the offences under Sections 354, 376 IPC and Section 7/8 of the POCSO Act and Section 3(2) (Va) of the SC/ST Act.

As per the averments made in the FIR, the applicant allegedly molested a minor girl inside his house, where he forcefully made her lie down on the ground without her consent and when she made noise, he forcibly pressed his hand on her mouth to carry on the act. In the matter, initially, the FIR was lodged under Sections 354 IPC and Section 7/8 of POCSO Act and Section 3(2) (Va) of SC/ST Act. However, after recording the victim’s statement under Sections 161, 164 CrPC, the offence under Section 376 IPC was also added.

The applicant, therefore, while referring to Rinku v. State of UP, Criminal Misc Bail Application No. 17348 of 2018, contended that, in any case, involving both the offences punishable under the protection of Child from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and SC/ST Act, the procedure laid down under the provisions of Protection of Child from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 shall be applicable. Therefore, it justified the maintainability of the application.

The applicant further relied on the Supreme Court’s judgment in Prithvi Raj Chauhan v. Union of India and others, 2020 4 SCC 727 to argue that if the allegations in the FIR prima facie appear to be misconceived showing a malafide intention, and if prima facie the provisions of SC/ST Act are not attracting, in that case the jurisdiction of anticipatory bail is not barred for an accused.

However, the opposite party contended that even though the medical report does not mention rape, but it is a legal conclusion and not medical. Further, the absence of injuries on private parts or other parts of the body of the victim cannot rule out her being subjected to rape. Furthermore argued that the applicant is accused of raping a minor victim belonging to Scheduled Caste, therefore, the matter is of very serious nature, hence the anticipatory bail should not be granted.

Accordingly, the bench after considering the facts and circumstances noted, In the light of above, looking to the facts and circumstances of this case, submissions of learned counsel for the parties as mentioned above, taking into consideration the role assigned to the applicant as per prosecution case, gravity and nature of accusation, medical report and the statement under Sections 161 & 164 CrPC, this Court is of the view that no case for exercising its discretionary power under Section 438 CrPC is made out in favour of applicant”.

Cause Title: Deepak Prakash Singh @ Deepak Singh v. State of U.P. and Another [Neutral Citation No. - 2023:AHC:198548]

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