The Allahabad High Court on Thursday rejected the bail application of an Advocate of the Allahabad High Court, Rajkaran Patel, who is accused of sexually assaulting a law student working with him.

While denying bail, the Bench of Justice Samit Gopal observed that "The allegations are against a person practising law and is a person in uniform involved in a noble profession. The office of a lawyer is not less respected than Courts of law".

The father of the 20-year-old law student complained that his daughter was sexually assaulted several times. The victim said in her statement that she had aborted her pregnancy four times. The co-accused Sipahi Lal was also accused of assaulting the victim.

The Police registered FIR under Sections 366, 376, 354-A, 328, 323, 504, and 506 of the IPC and the applicant is in jail since September 2021.

Advocate Rajiv Lochan Shukla appeared for the accused and pointed out contradictions and improvements in the statements of the victim. The Counsel for the High Court Legal Service Committee and the Counsel for the State vehemently opposed the bail application.

It was argued that the case is one in which an Advocate has exploited a girl who was a law student on the pretext of imparting legal training to her through his office and courts. It was also argued that there are serious allegations against the applicant accused. It was argued that since the applicant is an Advocate, if released on bail, there are chances of his tampering with evidence and may influence the investigation as the investigation for other accused persons is pending.

"The name of the applicant and the role assigned to him is consistent throughout. The allegations are of sexual assault and physical assault upon the prosecutrix which had continued for a substantial long period. The prosecutrix was junior in the office of the applicant", the Court observed.

The Court rejected the bail application while observing that "The investigation for other accused persons is pending and the apprehension of learned counsels for the State and of the panel lawyer of High Court Legal Service Committee of the applicant being in a position to influence the investigation and tamper with the evidence cannot be ruled out at this stage".

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