The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the Special Leave Petition filed by Self-styled godman Swami Vairagyanand Giri alias Mirchi Baba challenging the order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur which had refused to grant him bail in a case involving offences punishable under Sections 376, 342 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code.

The Vacation Bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Sanjay Karol expressed its disinclination to entertain the petition and said in the order- "We do not find any ground to interfere with the impugned order of the High Court refusing bail to the petitioner. At the same time, we request the trial Court to conclude the trial as early as possible, preferably within a period of three months. The Special Leave Petition is accordingly dismissed."

Appearing for the Petitioner, Senior Advocate Vivek K. Tanka along with Advocate Aditya Dev Triguna, submitted that, "The Prosecutrix also says I have not committed Rape on her and I am in Jail how could I threaten her." Tanka added that "The MLC report says there is no sign, the DNA says there is no match how can I be convicted?". He further apprised the Vacation Bench that even the examination of the prosecutrix is over and that the Petitioner may be enlarged on the Bail.

"No, Mr. Tanka, we are not inclined," remarked Justice Karol and added that "I am only reminded of Baba Ram Rahim in Punjab". Senior Advocate Tanka replied that "This is not the case of that type and it is internecine rivalry in the same group." He further requested the Court that at least the proceedings before the Trial Court be expedited.

It was submitted in the Petition that before the Trial Court on January 30, 2023, the prosecutrix deposed that she was not raped and turned hostile before the Trial Court wherein she had to depose as a witness. The Petition also read that the DNA sample submitted by the prosecutrix does not match the blood sample of the accused.

Swami Vairagyanand Giri alias Mirchi Baba was arrested on August 8, 2022, and has been in custody since then. As per the Complaint filed against Mirchi Baba, it was alleged that the prosecutrix went to the Aashram of the present applicant for treatment as she was not able to conceive a child and was offered water and some small tablets; after taking the same, she fell unconscious and then the present applicant committed rape with her and threatened her that if she discloses this incident to anyone dire consequences will follow.

The Mahila Police Station, District Bhopal registered the F.I.R. under Sections 376, 342 and 506 of the IPC. In the impugned order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur, the Bench of Justice Nandita Dubey noted that "The prosecutrix in the complaint and in 164 statement has made clear allegations against the present applicant. However, in the court statement though she admitted going to the Aashram of the present applicant and meeting with him and being raped also but retracted her statement against the applicant that he was not the person who committed rape."

The High Court further noted that "It appears that the prosecutrix has given the statement under some pressure. Under the circumstances, prima facie involvement of the applicant in the crime cannot be ruled out. No case for grant of bail is made out. Accordingly, the bail application filed under Section 439 of Cr.P.C. is dismissed".

Cause Title: Vairagyanand Giri Yog @ Mirchi Baba Shree Mahamandleshwar v. The State Of Madhya Pradesh [SLP (Crl.) No(s). 6751/2023]

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