Himachal Pradesh High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Sandeep Sharma, J., allowed a criminal petition filed under Section 438 of CrPC praying for grant of anticipatory bail, holding it to be in the interest of justice to exercise discretion in favor of the petitioner.

The petitioner apprehended arrest in a criminal case registered under Sections 366, 342 and 376 of IPC. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that no case is made out against the bail petitioner because bare perusal of statement made by the prosecutrix under Section 164 CrPC itself suggest that she had joined the company of the bail petitioner of her own volition and at no point of time, she was forced to join the company of bail petitioner. He prayed that the petitioner be enlarged on bail in the event of his arrest in connection with the above mentioned criminal case.

The High Court perused the record and found that the prosecutrix and the petitioner knew each other for a considerable period of time. The prosecutrix was unable to identify the house where the alleged incident happened. The statement of the owner of the house taken on rent by the petitioner revealed that the petitioner and the prosecutrix were living their as husband and wife. The FIR was filed after a period of about two months from the date of alleged incident; this delay remained unexplained. The Court observed it to be a well settled principle that a person, until proved guilty is deemed to be innocent, and such a person cannot be allowed to incarcerate in jail for an indefinite period.

Accordingly, the petition was allowed and the petitioner was granted anticipatory bail, subject to conditions imposed. [Suresh Kumar v. State of H.P., 2018 SCC OnLine HP 204, order dated 6.3.2018]

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