Delhi HC grants bail to man in case for violation of SC/ST Act

The Delhi High Court on Friday granted anticipatory bail to a man in a case concerning the violation of the SCST Act and the offence of rape, saying that there was no allegation that the complainant, who was in a consensual relationship for several years, was sexually victimised by reason of her caste status.


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 28-01-2022 21:00 IST | Created: 28-01-2022 20:59 IST
Delhi HC grants bail to man in case for violation of SC/ST Act
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The Delhi High Court on Friday granted anticipatory bail to a man in a case concerning the violation of the SC/ST Act and the offence of rape, saying that there was no allegation that the complainant, who was in a consensual relationship for several years, was sexually victimised by reason of her caste status. Justice Chandra Dhari Singh stated the issue of caste came into question only when the \accused refused to marry the complainant who failed to make out a prima facie case under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (SC/ST Act) and therefore the bar on anticipatory bail under Section 18 of the SC/ST Act was not applicable. The judge said that the high court has inherent powers to grant pre-arrest bail in appropriate cases under the SC/ST Act and in the event of arrest, the petitioner (accused) shall be admitted to bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with one surety of the like amount. "The complainant does not allege in her complaint that she was sexually victimised by reason of her caste status throughout her relationship with the Petitioner/Applicant and only brings in the allegation relating to her caste in an alleged episode of 20th September 2021, which arose in the backdrop and context of the applicant refusing to marry the prosecutrix and not in the context of the allegations of sexual assault upon her," the court stated. "It appears that the offences in the nature of the sexual assault, alleged to have been committed by the Petitioner/Applicant, had no reference to the prosecutrix's caste, thereby, Section 3(1)(w) of the SC/ST Act does not prima facie come into play in the instant case," it added. The court further said that there was no allegation that the alleged casteist slur was made "within public view". "Thus, absence of the ingredients of Section 3(1)(w) of the SC/ST Act, or even for the offence under Sections 3(1)(r) and 3(1)(s) of the SC/ST Act, the question of applicability of the Sections 18 or 18A(2) of the SC/ST Act getting triggered does not arise in the instant case," the court said. In the order, the court noted that it was an admitted fact that the accused and the complainant were involved in a consensual physical relationship for several years, and the accused even attended the wedding of the prosecutrix's sister in Patna. In the present case, an FIR was registered under Sections 376 (punishment for rape)/506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC and violation of SC/ST Act based on the complaint made by the prosecutrix who claimed that the petitioner extorted money on the pretext of giving false promise of marriage, spewed death threats and abusive language and passed casteist remarks. The petitioner sought anticipatory bail on the ground that the complaint was made to harass him and the allegations under the SC/ST Act are false. He submitted that the complainant willingly consented to the sexual relations. PTI ADS RKS RKS

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