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The Court is not inclined to grant bail to the petitioner as it does not find any mitigating circumstances for the same.: High Court of Patna

The petitioner was taken into custody under Sections 326 Indian Penal Code, “Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means including acid”, section 34 IPC, “Acts have done by several persons in furtherance of common intention”, section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, “Punishment for sexual assault.—Whoever, commits sexual assault, shall be punished with imprisonment and fine”,  and section 12 “Punishment for sexual harassment.—Whoever, commits sexual harassment upon a child shall be punished with imprisonment and shall also be liable to fine”.  This petition is in connection with Baikunthpur PS Case No. 311 of 2019 dated 04.12.2019.

In the High Court of Judicature at Patna, this judgement was given by honourable Mr Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah on the 15th of September  2021 in the case of Sonu Kumar Versus the State of Bihar, [Criminal Miscellaneous No. 14200 of 2021] Mr Rajesh Kumar Singh represented as the advocate for the petitioner, Mr Jharkhandi Upadhyay, represented the state of Bihar as the additional Public Prosecutor and Mr Rajeev Ranjan represented as the advocate for the informant the proceedings of the court were held via video conference.

The following are the facts of the case, the petitioner has been accused of throwing acid on the face of the victim on 04.12.2019. This is the second attempt for bail by the petitioner which was initially rejected by judgment dated 07.07.2020 passed in [Cr. Misc. No. 15706 of 2020]. 

The counsel representing the petitioner held that, according to the medical report annexure – 3, of the victim taken on 4th December 2019, it was transpired that the same has been signed by the doctor on the 26th December 2019 and it has been stated the within two hours of the injury the doctor aided to the victim. However the same has been falsified as clearly, the doctor aided only after three weeks to the incident, his signature as his evidence. The counsel further held that besides the injury report there is no other evidence filed by the prosecution and the veracity and correctness of the allegation is under serious doubt. The informant and victim failed to appear before the court when a notice was issued. The counsel further held that even the co-accused, in this case, has been granted bail by a co-ordinate Bench by order dated 20.05.2021 passed in [Cr. Misc. No. 38 of 2021]. 

The court ordered the additional public prosecutor to obtain an up-to-date legible photocopy of the entire police papers including the case diary of Baikunthpur PS Case No. 311 of 2019, as also a copy of the injury reports of the victim, from the Superintendent of Police, Gopalganj. The same has been received by him. The APP submitted that the Superintendent of Police, Gopalganj has also sent a report stating that the Health Centre, Baikunthpur stated that the victim was brought for medical aid on the 4th of December itself and made an entry in the register with her injuries and however the doctor performed a formal injury report on the 26th December 2019, therefore, it is true she was brought to aid within two hours of the incident. Further, the APP submitted that the victim girl and the witnesses clearly pointed out that the petitioner along with the co-accused was responsible was throwing acid on her and as the girl tried to save herself it came in contact with her face leading to acid burn injuries.

The counsel representing the informant submitted the discharge certificate of the Patna Medical College and Hospital which shows that there were chemical burns over the face and plastic surgery was recommended by the doctors. Further, the counsel held that the reason the informant and victim failed to appear before court is that during the peak of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic the movement of the informant and the victim was curtailed.

The Honourable Court concluded that “the report which has come to the Superintendent of Police, Gopalganj, which includes the report of the Patna Medical College and Hospital as also the Health Centre, Baikunthpur, where the victim was initially taken after the incident as also the materials which have surfaced during investigation, the Court is not inclined to grant bail to the petitioner as it does not find any mitigating circumstances for the same. As far as the grant of bail to co-accused Raja Kumar is concerned, the Court would only observe the report with regard to entry made in the register of the Health Centre, Baikunthpur and the Patna Medical College and Hospital and not before the co-ordinate Bench. Therefore, the petition stands dismissed.”

Click here to read the judgment

Judgment reviewed by – A. Beryl Sugirtham 

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