The Bombay High Court has denied bail to a man accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a child over a span of nine years, citing the "horrible, appalling, and obnoxious" nature of the crimes that left the victim traumatized to the extent of making her nymphomaniac.

The Bench of Justice Prithviraj K Chavan, delved into the harrowing details presented in the victim's handwritten notebook, which documented instances of sexual abuse and threats endured from the age of eight until she turned seventeen. The Court emphasized the profound psychological, mental, and physical toll inflicted upon the victim, leading to severe trauma and lasting repercussions.

"Having read the entire text, I do not think anything more is required to be said, for words will fall short to describe the mental, psychological and physical state of the victim and the impact of the ordeal she had undergone at the hands of the applicant. The crime alleged to have been committed by the applicant is not only shocking the conscience of any prudent man but it is also obnoxious. Due to such horrendous crime, the victim has turned on as a nymphomaniac," the Bench observed.

The Court noted, "This is a very peculiar case wherein it is alleged that the applicant had been subjecting the victim to rape, unnatural sex, oral sex, discharging semen by forcing his penis in her mouth, administering some stupefying substance which aroused her sexual desire and above all, threatened her of dire consequences, in case, she discloses his acts to anybody."

"Worst, his wife actively participated and assisted him in all his dubious and abominable crime for a continuous period of nine years ever since the victim was in 4th standard till lodging of the report," it added.

The Accused, booked under Sections 323, 328, 342, 354, 376, 377, 506 (2) read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 4, 6, 8, 12 and 17 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, faced allegations of rape, unnatural sex, and other heinous offences.

The case came to light in May 2021 when the victim's father reported her elopement with a boy to the Amboli Police Station in Mumbai. During the ensuing investigation, the victim's family discovered her notebook, detailing the prolonged abuse suffered at the hands of their neighbor. Despite being aware of the abuse, the victim's family hesitated to report the matter due to fear of reprisal and concerns about their reputation.

The Court underscored the vulnerability of children to sexual abuse, particularly by individuals known to them, as was the case with the Accused, who exploited his proximity to the victim. It highlighted the insidious tactics employed by perpetrators to manipulate and coerce their victims, noting the difficulty children face in disclosing such abuse.

"..most commonly, abusers are persons who are well known to the child and may even be living in the household. The victim indeed was a soft target for the applicant to abuse her sexually as she could not have realized the fact that she was being abused by the abuser.....that abusers are also known to use chocolates and toys to lure children which had been exactly done by the applicant when he first molested the victim. The children, as has been stated, are more easily threatened and less likely to speak out about the abuse," the Court said.

The Court noted the severity of the charges, expressing concern over the potential for the accused to repeat similar offences and intimidate the victim and her family if released on bail. "This is not at all a fit case to admit the applicant to bail. To do so would tantamount to further aggravate and fester the wounds of the victim, which are still fresh in her mind, body and soul. Apart from these aspects, looking to the nature and propensity of the applicant, likelihood of repeating similar offence cannot be ruled out. It is quite possible that in case of his release, the applicant may threaten and coerce the victim and her parents," the Court said.

The Court directed the Trial Court to frame a charge at the earliest and thereafter, proceed with the trial of the case without granting unnecessary adjournments to any of the parties. "The Trial Court shall not get influenced with these observations at the time of trial," the Court clarified.

Accordingly, the Court rejected the Bail Application.

Cause Title: Mehraj @ Meraj Kaddan Khan v. The State of Maharashtra and Another


Applicant: Advocates Sanjeev Kadam, Sandesh More, Nikhil Kamble

Respondent: Advocate Anamika Malhotra (APP)

Intervener: Advocates Sudeep Pasbola, Ruchika Ghag, Shavez Mansoori, Sankalp Vichare

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