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Arrest cannot be restricted when accused does not co-operate with the investigation investigation and does not provide information: High court of Delhi

Arrest should be the last option and it should be restricted to those exceptional cases where arresting the accused is imperative in the facts and circumstances of that case. This cannot be applied when the accused does not co-operate with the investigation and does not provide information which will lead to the discovery of material facts as held by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi through a learned bench of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Subramonium Prasad in the case of Naresh Juneja Vs State (Govt. Of Nct Of Delhi) [BAIL APPLN. 2022/2021].

Brief facts on record are that the instant FIR was registered on the statement of the prosecutrix wherein she stated that she knew the petitioner. It is stated that she and her husband deal in ready-made garments. It is stated that they have a shop in Gandhi Nagar and the petitioner also owns a shop in Gandhinagar. It is stated that in September, 2019 the petitioner herein invited the prosecutrix for dinner and that the petitioner herein offered her beer and they were driving for some time. It is stated that after a while the petitioner forcefully made physical relations with the prosecutrix and after the incident the petitioner dropped the prosecutrix to her house and showed her obscene photos, that he had clicked on his phone It is stated that the petitioner is threatening the prosecutrix that he will send her obscene pictures to her husband and he is forcing the prosecutrix to meet him and, therefore, the instant FIR was registered.

Mr. Sanjay Vashistha, learned counsel for the petitioner, contends that the husband of the prosecutrix was part of the kitty/ Committee run by the petitioner and the petitioner has given a sum of Rs.10,00,000/- to the husband of the prosecutrix. He, therefore, states that the present FIR is only a measure to force the petitioner not to encash the said cheque. Ms. Kusum Dhalla, learned APP for the State, vehemently opposes the instant bail application by contending that the petitioner is accused of a very heinous crime punishable under Section 376 IPC. She states that there are allegations that the petitioner is threatening the prosecutrix. She further states that even after getting protection from this Court, the petitioner is not co-operating with the investigation.

The court after hearing both the parties observed that the petitioner was called by the Investigating Officer but he did not come citing some family contingencies and that the petitioner has not been co-operating with the investigation at all. Therefore, while relying on the Judgment in case of Siddharam Satlingappa Mhetre v. State of Maharashtra, the court stated that “No doubt it is well settled that arrest should be the last option and it should be restricted to those exceptional cases where arresting the accused is imperative in the facts and circumstances of that case. This cannot be applied when the accused does not co-operate with the investigation and does not provide information which will lead to the discovery of material facts. For this purpose, it may be necessary to curtail the freedom of the accused to enable the investigation to proceed without hindrance. The petitioner is accused of a serious offence of rape. The petitioner does not stay in Delhi. The apprehension of the petitioner fleeing from justice cannot be ruled out at this juncture.”

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Judgment Reviewed by – Aryan Bajaj

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