Judicial scrutiny of date of birth for establishing consensual sexual relation not necessary; Delhi High Court grants bail in light of accused being honey trapped

Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court: In a case filed by a woman alleging rape charges under Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (‘POCSO’), Jasmeet Singh, J. granted bail to the applicant accused as the case, in the opinion of the Court and based on the materials presented before it, prima facie seemed one of ‘honey trapping’. The Court directed the Commissioner of Police to conduct a detailed investigation and further clarified that mere having an Aadhar and PAN card and the date of birth mentioned in it is sufficient for someone to form an opinion that he is not indulging in physical relations with a minor, verification of such documents by the partner before sex is not required.

The petition was filed seeking bail in an FIR registered u/s 376, 34 IPC read with Section 6 POCSO Act registered at P.S. Pahar Ganj, Delhi. It was alleged in the FIR that the applicant and prosecutrix met in September 2019, exchanged numbers and became friends. It was further alleged that the applicant called the prosecutrix at a hotel, established physical relations with her, made a video and blackmailed her. It was also alleged that she was held captive at a place in Rohini where she managed to escape and met Savita who is an advocate and helped the prosecutrix to file the instant case.

The Court noted that as per the prosecutrix’s claim she had relationship with the applicant from 2019, and the applicant was blackmailing the prosecutrix and the fact that the prosecutrix escaped from the captivity of the applicant-accused 8 months before the FIR was lodged, therefore, the FIR was lodged with such delay.

On the contention raised by the counsel for applicant that the prosecutrix has 4 different dates of birth thus making the grounds of POCSO charges shaky, the Court noted that it seems the prosecutrix has 3 different dates of birth and the Aadhar card show her date of birth as 01-01-1998 and hence on the date of the alleged incident, the prosecutrix was supposed to be a major.

The Court observed that the person who is in a consensual physical relationship with another person is not required to judicially scrutinize the date of birth of the other person. He is not required to see Aadhar card, PAN card and verify the date of birth from her school record before he enters into a physical relationship. The very fact that there is an Aadhar Card and the very fact that the same date of birth shows 01-01-1998 is sufficient for the applicant to form an opinion that he was not indulging in a physical relationship with a minor.

The Court opined that there being transfers of huge amounts of money in favour of the prosecutrix amounting to Rs 50,00,000 for which no reasonable explanation was given by the prosecutrix, the present seems a case of honey trapping where innocent persons are being honey trapped and huge amounts of money are being extracted from them.

Thus, the Court directed the Police Commissioner to have a detailed investigation as regards the prosecutrix and find if any similar FIR is registered by the prosecutrix against any other person in Delhi and further investigate the Aadhar card, date of issuance of the same and the supporting documents filed for issuance of the said Aadhar card.

The Court granted bail subject to the following conditions:

i. The applicant shall furnish a personal bond with one local surety in the sum of Rs. 20,000/- each, to the satisfaction of the Trial Court;

ii. He shall appear before the Court as and when the matter is taken up for a hearing;

iii. The applicant shall provide his mobile number to the Investigating Officer (IO) concerned- at the time of release, which shall be kept in a working condition at all times. The applicant shall not switch off, or change the same without prior intimation to the IO concerned, during the bail period;

iv. He shall report to the local Police Station on the first Monday of every month at 10:30 A.M. He shall not be forced to sit for more than half an hour on any such occasion;

v. In case he changes his address, he will inform the IO concerned and this Court also;

vi. The applicant shall not leave the country during the bail period and surrender his passport, if any, at the time of release before the Trial Court;

vii. The applicant shall not indulge in any criminal activity during the bail period;

viii. The applicant shall not communicate with, or come into contact with any of the prosecution witnesses, or any member of the victim’s family, or tamper with the evidence of the case

[Hanzla Iqbal v. State, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 2598, decided on 24-08-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Amit Chadha, Adv. with Mr. Arpit Bhalla, Mr. Antim Chadha, Ms. Anjali Dhingra, Advocates, for the Petitioner;

Mr. Aashneet Singh, APP for State, Ms. Astha, Adv., DHCLSC SI Rajnandini, PS Pahar Ganj, Advocates, for the Respondent.


*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.

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