Karnataka High Court: H.T. Narendra Prasad, J. while allowing the bail petition imposed stringent conditions because of the objections raised by the prosecution in regard to the tampering of witnesses.

In the instant case, the complainant, police inspector received credible information that at Royal Palace Lodge some people were engaged in prostitution. He reported the information to his superiors. Thereafter, he raided the place with other police personnel (including women personnel). They found a man and a woman in a semi-nude state in a room. Upon enquiry, the man told that he paid the lodge manager Rs 600. On this basis, the police registered an FIR for the offence punishable under Sections 3, 4 and 7 of the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1956. Hence the petitioner-accused 3 sought for anticipatory bail.

Counsel for the Petitioner, Vitthal S. Teli, submitted that the petitioner is innocent and had committed no crime. The offences alleged are not punishable with death or imprisonment. Hence, the petitioner sought anticipatory bail.

However, HCGP for the Respondent-State, Seema Shiva Naik, submitted that there were prima facie materials against the petitioner for the commission of the alleged offences and the petitioner certainly would be harmful to the prosecution witness. Therefore, no bail should be granted.

The Court after analyzing the facts and circumstances of the case observed that at this particular stage where there is no material other than accused’s 1 and 2 returning the collected money to the petitioner and victim, bail can be granted. [Rajesh Shetti v. State of Karnataka, 2019 SCC OnLine Kar 2216, decided on 25-10-2019]

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