The Kerala High Court has dismissed the anticipatory bail application of Advocate PG Manu in a rape case. He had resigned from the post of Senior Government Pleader at the High Court after the registration of FIR in the case.

The Bench of Justice P Gopinath observed in the order that the material on record indicates that the accused might have been misusing his official position.

The Court also found that there are indications/suggestions that the accused had, while indulging in sexual relationship with the victim, caused injuries to her private parts, but that there is no medical record to prove the same. The victim had alleged that this was on account of the influence of the accused.

Senior Advocate P Vijaya Bhanu appeared for the accused while Additional Director General of Prosecution Gracious Kuriakose appeared for the state and Advocate V. John Ralph appeared for the victim.

As per the prosecution, the victim had approached the accused seeking his professional help in concluding an earlier case registered at the instance of the very same victim, which was pending before the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court. The accused had arranged for an Advocate to file a petition before the High Court seeking to quash the proceedings on the ground that the issue had been settled between the victim and the accused in that case.

It was alleged that the accused threatened the victim by stating that she and her father would be arrayed as accused in the case for filing a false complaint, and the accused sexually assaulted her on several occasions and committed rape on her on two occasions. It was also alleged that the accused had managed to obtain nude photographs of the victim and had also transmitted the same to others. It was further alleged that the accused had sent obscene videos and pictures to the victim.

It was contended on behalf of the accused that a false case has been registered against the accused on account of certain professional rivalries and that the conduct of the victim and certain others who are purportedly helping her makes it evident that the filing of the complaint and the registration of the crime are only intended to spoil the career of the accused.

The Court held that lack of need for custodial interrogation of the accused alone cannot be a ground to hold that the accused can be granted anticipatory bail. "The heinousness of the offence and the severity of punishment etc. are also factors to be kept in mind...", the Court held.

The Court found that the statements recorded from the Doctors/Psychologists who have treated the victim indicate that the victim is of a very vulnerable nature and is a person who gets very scared and succumbs easily to threats and coercions.

"There are indications/suggestions that the petitioner/accused had, while indulging in sexual relationship with the victim caused injuries to her private parts. However, there is no medical record to prove this. There are materials to suggest that the victim was in severe depression after the incident. These facts cumulatively suggest to me that the petitioner/accused cannot be granted anticipatory bail as any consent for sexual relationship might be vitiated out of ‘fear of injury’ [See Sections 90 and 44 of the I.P.C]", the Court held while dismissing the application for anticipatory bail.

PG Manu v. State of Kerala & Ors.(Bail Application No. 10796 of 2023)

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