Should Sexual Offence Victim Be Impleaded As Respondent In Bail Applications Or Criminal Appeals: Delhi HC Asks Registry
The Delhi High Court has asked the registry to inform whether sexual offence victim is required to be impleaded as respondent in bail applications or criminal appeals.
The bench of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani directed thus "…the Registrar (Filing) is directed to inform this court as to whether there is any ruling by any court or any practice directions issued, requiring the impleadment of a victim/prosecutrix/informant as a respondent (even if anonymised) in bail applications or criminal appeals relating to sexual offences under the IPC and/or the POCSO Act."
The Court observed that the query should be answered in light of the fact that the identity of the victim/prosecutrix is supposed to be protected and kept confidential in all such proceedings.
The Court also noted that Section 439(1-A) of the Cr.P.C. and practice directions issued by the Delhi High Court require that the victim/informant or any person authorized be heard at the time of hearing of a bail application for certain offences.
The Court was dealing with a plea under Section 439 read with section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 whereby the petitioner sought regular bail in a case registered under Section 376 IPC.
Advocate Sudarshan Raj appeared for the petitioner whereas APP Meenakshi Dhaiya appeared for the State.
The counsel for the petitioner had informed the Court that he was specifically asked by the Registry to make the victim/prosecutrix a party-respondent in the matter.
In the circumstances, the Court directed the Registrar (Filing) to clarify whether there is any ruling by any court or any practice directions issued, requiring the impleadment of a victim/prosecutrix/informant as a respondent in bail applications or criminal appeals relating to sexual offences.
The Court directed the petitioner to delete victim from the array of party-respondents.
Cause Title- Saleem v. State of NCT of Delhi & Anr