The Court grants pre-arrest bail to the petitioner as he was arrested under Sections 366-A/34 of the Indian Penal Code and 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012: High Court of Patna

The petitioner was arrested under Sections 366-A of the Indian Penal Code, “Procuration of minor girl”, Section 34 IPC, “Acts have done by several persons in furtherance of common intention” and Section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, “Whoever, commits sexual assault, shall be punished with imprisonment of either Punishment for description for a term which shall not be less than three years but which may extend to five sexual assault. years, and shall also be liable to fine”. The petition is in connection with Chanpatiya PS Case No. 213 of 2020 dated 16.05.2020.  

In the High Court of Judicature at Patna, this judgement was given by Honourable Mr Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah on the 6th of September  2021 in the case of Hinmanshu Kumar Versus the State of Bihar, [Criminal Miscellaneous No.37709 of 2020] Mr Arbind Kumar Singh represented as the advocate for the petitioner, and Mr Jharkhandi Upadhyay, represented the State of Bihar as the additional Public Prosecutor, the proceedings of the court were held via video conference. The following are the facts of the case, the petitioner along with others was accused of kidnapping the niece of the informant while she was going to her ancestral house with ornaments of the informant’s wife worth Rs.2,00,000/- and cash Rs. 25,000.

The counsel representing the petitioner held that the girl is not a minor and she is above 18 years and the story which has been scripted in the FIR has been falsely indicated, the niece of the informant was being taken care of by the informant and therefore she would not do such a thing by taking away jewellery of his wife worth Rs.2,00,000/- and also cash of Rs. 25,000. The informant was unhappy and did not approve that his niece and the petitioner were in love because they had already fixed the marriage for the girl with the brother of the stepmother of the girl who was twice her age as the girl was uncomfortable with the same she had run away to marry the petitioner in Durga Mandir, Bettiah. The counsel further stated that after the investigation it was transpired that nobody had kidnapped her and even the girl made a statement before the Court under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, where she held that the story mentioned in the FIR was incorrect. The counsel submitted that the girl is happy and living peacefully in the house of the petitioner as his wife.

For further evidence of the same, on the 21st of August, the counsel along with the petitioner and his wife (also the victim in this case) appeared before the court on a virtual platform and held before the court that she has been accepted y her in-laws and is happy in the matrimonial home. The petitioner also assured the court that he shall ensure her dignity, honour and security and shall take care of all her needs. Further, he submitted that the girl would be allowed to freely talk, meet and visit any person she desires.

The Honourable Court concluded that “since it is in the larger interest, the Court is persuaded to allow the prayer for pre-arrest bail.  The petitioner will be released on bail upon furnishing bail bonds of Rs. 25,000/- (twenty-five thousand) with two sureties of the like amount each to the satisfaction of the learned Special Judge, POCSO -cum- Additional District & Sessions Judge, 6th, Bettiah, West Champaran, in Chanpatiya [PS Case No. 213 of 2020], under Section 438(2) Cr.P.C. (i) that one of the bailors shall be a close relative of the petitioner, (ii) that the petitioner shall cooperate with the Court and the police/prosecution. Failure to cooperate shall lead to the cancellation of his bail bonds. The petition stands disposed of in the aforementioned terms.”

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Judgment reviewed by – A. Beryl Sugirtham 

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