Bombay High Court Grants Bail To Doctor Who Was Accused Under POCSO Act For Touching Minor Inappropriately
The Bombay High Court at Nagpur Bench has granted bail to a doctor who was accused of touching a minor girl inappropriately under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
The Bench of Justice Anil S. Kilor observed that the victim did not disclose the improper behavior of the doctor to her family members immediately after the first incident but continued the treatment for a long time.
The Appellant-Doctor had sought bail for the offences punishable under Sections 354-A(2) and 376(3) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 4, 6, 8 and 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.
The Prosecution case was that the victim who was a minor girl used to go for practice of running for the sport purposes. On one occasion during the practice, she felt some pain in abdomen and legs. Therefore, she went to the applicant who is the doctor. The applicant recommended one month therapy and she was asked to come to the clinic everyday for one hour.
The allegations were that during the treatment the Applicant touched the private parts of the body of the victim including private part and the he did repeatedly. This was disclosed by the victim to her sister, after which the doctor was arrested and since then, he was in jail.
Advocate R.P. Joshi appeared for the Applicant while APP S.D. Sirpurkar appeared for the State before the Court.
The Court noted that after going through the complaint and the allegations, prima facie, it appears that immediately after eight days of therapy, the behaviour of the applicant was found to be improper. However, she did not make complaint to her mother or the sister or any other family members and continued the treatment. It is her allegations that everyday she faced such type of behaviour of the applicant and lastly, she disclosed it to her sister.
The Bench further also noted, "The applicant is running his centre for last about 20 years and there is not a single complaint against the applicant in last 20 years. Furthermore, the victim did not disclose the improper behaviour of the applicant to her family members immediately after the first incident but, continued the treatment for long time."
The Court thus held that it creates doubt about the veracity of the allegations. Moreover, it was the case of the prosecution that the sister of the victim used to be present at the centre of therapy with the victim.
The Court held that the prosecution story appears to be improbable.
Thus, the Bench held-
"Thus, considering the material collected by the Investigation Officer and the fact that, the investigation is almost completed, though the learned APP and the learned counsel for the victim are strongly opposing the present application on the ground that the offence is very serious, I am of the opinion that further custody of the applicant is not necessary."
Accordingly, the Court allowed the application and released the doctor on bail.
Cause Title - Dr. Vijay S/o Bhaiyalal Dahale v. State of Maharashtra, through P.S.O., P.S. Tumsar, Tah. Tumsar, Dist. Bhandara and another