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It would be but proper to allow the accused to prepare his defence without the shackles of confinement : High Court of Meghalaya

It would be but proper to allow the accused to prepare his defence without the shackles of confinement, howbeit under strict conditions, violation of which would invite cancellation of the liberty of bail granted as upheld by the High Court of Meghalaya through the learned bench led by Justice W. Diengdoh in the case of Smti. Sheba Dhar Vs. State of Meghalaya (BA. No. 7 of 2021)

The brief facts of the case are that, an FIR was lodged before the Officer-in-Charge Nartiang P.S by one Smti. Wanki Phawa to the effect that a complaint was made alleging that the accused Shri Wanrah Dhar in the evening of 14.03.2021 had forcefully pulled her daughter to his bedroom and had raped her. The victim had informed the informant only on 16.03.2021 and had accordingly gone to the Namdong PHC for medical checkup after which the doctor of the PHC informed the police. On receipt of the FIR, u/s 3(a)/4 POCSO Act r/w section 323 IPC was registered and investigation was directed to be conducted. The accused Davidson Dhar @ Wanrah was arrested on 19.03.2021 and is presently under judicial custody. The I/O had then examined the victim girl and has also examined some witnesses related to the case and in the process, the statement of the victim girl was recorded under Sections 161 and 164 Cr.P.C. After investigation is completed, the charge sheet was filed with the I/O sending the accused to face trial before the court for the offence under Section 323 IPC r/w Section 3(a)/4 of the POCSO Act. This instant application u/s 439 Cr.P.C r/w section 31 POCSO Act was preferred by the mother of the accused Shri. Davidson Dhar with a prayer to enlarge the accused person on bail.

It is held by the Hon’ble CourtIn this context, it is but an oft repeated statement that “the object of bail is to secure the attendance of the accused at the trial, that the proper test to be applied in the solution of the question whether bail should be granted or refused is whether it is probable that the party will appear to take his trial and that it is indisputable that a bail could not be withheld as a punishment. Accordingly, this application is hereby allowed and the accused is enlarged on bail on the certain conditions

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Judgment reviewed by Vandana Ragwani

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