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THE DELAY IN LODGING THE FIR CANNOT BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION AT THE STAGE OF CONSIDERATION OF ANTICIPATORY BAIL WHEN THE INVESTIGATION IS AT THRESHOLD: PUNJABA AND HARYANA HIGH COURT

This particular decision is upheld by the Punjab and Haryana High Court through the division bench of Justice Rajesh Bharadwaj in the case of Maninderpal Singh v State of Punjab (CRM-M-28089-2022).

FACTS

he FIR was lodged by the prosecutrix (name concealed). It was alleged that she is student of BA-2studying at Punjabi University College Khuda. On 01.04.2021, when she boarded the bus, the accused Akashdeep caught hold her arm and on raising alarm by her, he fled away from the spot. On returning home, she disclosed the same to her parents and on their protest, the accused tendered apology in the presence of respectable of the village. Thereafter on 12.07.2021 at about 02:30 PM when she was alone at home, accused trespassed in her house and tried to kiss her. The prosecutrix raised an alarm and on hearing the same, the accused escaped from the spot. In order to save dignity of the family, she remained silent. However, the accused did not mend his ways and hence, the FIR was lodged to take the legal action against the accused. After recording the FIR, the supplementary statement of the prosecutrix was recorded wherein she clarified that the accused Akashdeep Singh is known by the name of Maninderpal Singh. Apprehending his arrest, the petitioner approached the Court of learned Additional Sessions Judge, Bathinda praying for grant of anticipatory bail. After hearing the parties, learned Additional Sessions Judge declined the same vide his order dated 18.06.2022. Aggrieved by the same, the petitioner approached this Court praying for grant of anticipatory bail.

JUDGEMENT

Having perused the record of the case, the Court noted that in the instant case the prosecutrix had given the details of stalking by the petitioner and that he had alleged to have outraged the modesty of the prosecutrix repeatedly. The Court further noted that the prosecutrix is a young college-going girl who is repeatedly being stalked by the petitioner and therefore, the delay in lodging the FIR cannot be taken into consideration at the stage of consideration of anticipatory bail when the investigation is at the threshold.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NAISARGIKA MISHRA

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