A man suspected of engaging in improper conduct with his daughter was granted bail, upheld by the High Court of Himachal Pradesh through the learned Judge JUSTICE SANDEEP SHARMA, in the case of Shyab Abassi vs State Of Himachal Pradesh, (Cr.MP(M) No. 2170 of 2020).
Brief facts of the case:
The petitioner submitted a plea for ordinary bail in a FIR filed under Sections 354-A, 504, 506, 509 & 201 of the Indian Penal Code, Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act, and Section 12 of the POCSO Act at the Women’s Police Station (WPS) in Solan, Himachal Pradesh.
The prosecutor’s daughter filed a complaint at WPS Solan stating that her father engages in lewd behaviour and once exposed his private parts to her. The complainant said that her father mistreats her, her mother, and her sibling. She claimed that her father frequently creates fights with her mother over the fact that her younger brother is not his son but rather was sired by someone else.
Arvind Sharma, Additional Advocate General, argued that, in light of the claimed seriousness of the conduct committed by the bail petitioner, he does not merit any mercy, and as such, his request for release should be refused outright.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Manoranjana Sinh Alias Gupta v. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was cited by the lower court, which stated that “deprivation of liberty must be considered a punishment unless it is required to ensure that an accused person would stand his trial when called upon and that the courts owe more than verbal respect to the principle that punishment begins after conviction and that every man is deemed to be innocent until duly tried and found guilty.”
The High Court cited the recent decision of the Supreme Court in Dataram Singh vs. State of Uttar Pradesh and Others, in which the Supreme Court held categorically that the presumption of innocence is a fundamental tenet of criminal law, meaning that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. In addition, the apex court said that, while evaluating a bail application, it is essential to determine whether the accused is cooperating in the enquiry to the satisfaction of the investigating officer and is not absconding or failing to attend when requested by the investigating officer. In addition, the Supreme Court ruled that if an accused is not hiding from the investigating officer or is concealing owing to a genuine and declared fear of victimisation, it is a consideration that a court must take into account.
The petitioner was granted bail by the High Court. The Court reiterated that if the petitioner abuses his freedom or breaches any of the restrictions set on him, the investigating agency is free to ask this Court to revoke his bail.
JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – HARILAKSHMI