Anticipatory Bail Granted To Man Accused Of Trafficking Adolescent Girls’ Flesh, is upheld by the High Court of Himachal Pradesh through the learned Judge JUSTICE VIVEK SINGH THAKUR, in the case of Mohammad Nazim. v. State of Himachal Pradesh and others (Cr.M.P.(M) No.620 of 2021)
Brief facts of the case:
The circumstances of the case are that a girl of around 15 years old went missing after attending school. Her father subsequently filed a complaint with the belief that she had been taken after being enticed and misled.
During the course of the inquiry, the victim’s cell phone location indicated that she was her route to Delhi.
According to the Advocate General, the investigation in the case revealed that there was a plan to traffic the victim to Dubai and that the call detail records showed that the accused was in regular contact with her and that he was allegedly directing, dictating, controlling, and monitoring her movement on mobile using a well-connected network of his allege racked.
In addition, it was argued that the accused’s allegedly fraudulent assurances of marriage to the victim were indicative of a vast plot. In light of this, it was argued that questioning of the accused in custody was necessary.
On the other side, the petitioner/accused, while disputing the claims of a large plot, said that he and the victim had a basic love affair and that he secured her safety by making arrangements for her arrival in Delhi at his house.
The petitioner further argued that there was no wrongful act on their part because the victim had willingly left her residence.
While reviewing the facts of the current case, the Court determined that it lacks the authority to compel the investigating agency not to arrest a criminal. The court further emphasized that a release order under section 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code is issued in anticipation of the offender’s apprehension.
Noting that, in general, interference by the court during an investigation is not warranted, the court observed that section 438 creates an exception in order to strike a balance between the rights of the Investigating Agency and the life and liberty of a person in light of Articles 21 and 22 of the Indian Constitution.
While noting that it was hard for the court to envisage all the variables and list them because each case is judged on its unique facts and circumstances, the court found value in the arguments presented by the Attorney General and dismissed the petitioner’s request for anticipatory bail.
JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY – HARILAKSHMI