The High Court went on to explain that the applicant has no case and that the documents now sought to be produced to prove that the husband of the victim is in the habit of filing complaints against others were not in existence at the time of consideration of the earlier bail application.
The Single Judge Bench of Justice Kauser Edappagath observed that “even though there is no absolute embargo in filing the subsequent application for pre-arrest bail, it can be entertained only if there is a substantial change in the facts and circumstances of the case, which requires the earlier view be interfered with or where the earlier finding has become obsolete”.
Ordinarily, the Bench stated that the grounds canvassed in the earlier application cannot be permitted to be reurged in the subsequent application, nor could the accused in the subsequent application contend that the Court, while considering the earlier bail application, failed to advert to any fact or material on record.
In short, the Bench clarified that a fact which was not in existence at the time of considering the earlier bail application but came into existence subsequently, alone could be considered a change in facts and circumstances.
Advocate I.V. Pramod appeared for the Appellant, whereas Senior Advocate S. Rekha appeared for the Respondent.
The brief facts of the case were that the applicant is accused of committing offences punishable under Sections 354 and 511 of 376C of the Indian Penal Code. According to the prosecution on Feb 13, 2023, at approximately 6.30 p.m. in the ACR Lab, the applicant sexually assaulted the victim by groping her breast and attempting to insert his finger into her vagina.
After considering the submission, the Bench found that the first bail application was rejected by considering the gravity of the offence, the complicity of the applicant in the crime, the stage of investigation and the requirement of the applicant for custodial interrogation.
“A perusal of the FI statement of the victim would show that she has in detail narrated the sexual assault meted out by her at the hands of the applicant at the odd hours at the medical lab where he was working”, added the Bench.
The High Court found that the applicant has now raised mainly two grounds in his second application for pre-arrest bail.
“The first ground is that the husband of the victim is in the habit of filing frivolous complaints against so many persons. He produced copies of certain such complaints to substantiate the said allegation. The second ground urged is that now the investigation is almost over and hence custodial interrogation is not necessary”, added the Court.
Therefore, the High Court clarified that the fact that the victim or her husband has filed certain complaints against others cannot be termed as a change in fact situation or change in circumstances to justify the filing of a second application for pre-arrest bail.
The second application for pre-arrest bail filed by the applicant does not spell out any change in the fact situation or circumstance of the case after the dismissal of the first bail application, added the Court.
Accordingly, the High Court denied bail by concluding that even if custodial interrogation is not required or necessitated by itself, same cannot be a ground to grant anticipatory bail.
Cause Title: Suresh K.M v. State of Kerela