The Karnataka High Court granted anticipatory bail to a nurse accused of being a mediator for the sale of a newborn baby girl.

The bench of Justice Shivashankar Amarannavar observed that "there was no specific averment against the petitioner (accused no. 3) that she mediated between accused No.1 and 2 for the sale of the newborn baby girl of the accused No.1 to the accused No.2."

In this case, the complaint was filed by the Child Development Project Officer (CDPO), Ankola wherein it was stated that in September, a mother sold the newborn baby girl with the help of the hospital nurse for Rs. 1,00,000/- in cash and Rs. 70,000/- by cheque.

The facts of the case are-

  • The mother (accused no.1) was suffering from financial problems and was in need of financial help and because of poverty could not look after her child and was willing to give away her child for money.
  • Soon after giving away the child, accused no. 1 insisted the petitioner to get her child back. But when the petitioner could not get the child back, accused no. 1 contacted the CDPO and the complaint was registered for the offences punishable under Sections 80 and 81 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 and Section 317 read with Section 34 of IPC against the mother of the newborn, the nurse, and the purchaser.
  • Apprehending her arrest, the petitioner sought for Anticipatory Bail from the HIgh Court.

Advocate Prashant S. Kadadevar appeared on behalf of the Petitioner and contended that there was no allegation that the petitioner mediated between accused no. 1 and accused no. 2 for the sale and purchase of the child. It was also contended that the offence alleged against this petitioner are not punishable with death or imprisonment for life. Therefore, anticipatory bail should be granted.

HCGP Prashanth V. Mogali appeared on behalf of the respondent and contended that the petitioner acted as a mediator between accused no. 1 and no. 2. It was also contended that the petitioner being the nurse in Government Hospital, misused her position and committed the alleged offences. It was submitted that petitioner if granted bail, would hamper the investigation. Therefore, the petition should be rejected.

The Court held that there are valid grounds for granting anticipatory bail and objection raised by the prosecution can be met by imposing stringent conditions that the petitioner-

  • shall execute a personal bond for a sum of Rs.1,00,000 with one surety for the like sum to the satisfaction of the Investigating Officer.
  • shall voluntarily appear before the Investigating Officer within fifteen days from this day and execute bail bond and furnish surety.
  • Shall co-operate with the police in the investigation and make herself available for interrogation, whenever required.
  • shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any witness acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to any Police Officer.
  • shall not obstruct or hamper the police investigation and not to play mischief with the evidence collected or yet to be collected by the police.

Accordingly, the Anticipatory bail was granted to the petitioner.

Cause Title- Ashwini Ganapati Harikantra v. State of Karnataka

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