Punjab and Haryana High Court: In an application under Section 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure (‘CrPC'), 1973, Anoop Chitkara, J. granted bail to former member of Punjab Legislative Assembly, Simarjit Singh Bains. The Court noted that the prosecutrix remaining quiet for a long time, despite numerous opportunities would not justify any further pre-trial incarceration.

Simarjit Singh is booked under Sections 376, 354, 354A, 506, 120-B and 376-2(N), 201 of the Penal Code, 1860. He was taken in custody on 11-7-2022. The prosecutrix accused him of committing rape on several occasions. As alleged, the prosecutrix initially approached the Punjab ex-MLA regarding some dispute with a property dealer, since she was facing financial constraints after her husband's death, which got worse during COVID-19 lockdown. Facts of the case reveal that the prosecutrix visited Simarjit Singh on several occasions and he took advantage of her plight and kept disturbing her after she stopped going. She approached the Police to complain against Simarjit Singh, in furtherance of which, a First Information Report was registered, and the State provided 24-hour security to the her.

While disposing of this bail application, the Court noted that there is no trauma reflected through her body language or conduct. There is no allegation of not complaining to anyone because of shock. There is no evidence of consent by misconception of facts. The Court commented that her silence for such a long time would dent her credibility, and such a dent would not justify any further pre-trial incarceration. Thus, keeping regard with the evidence available, the Court allowed application for bail, subject to certain conditions.

The Court allowed the present application and released Simarjit Singh on bail. However, keeping regard with the nature of allegations, such release on bail is conditioned with a personal bond, surety/fixed deposit, surrender of arms and ammunition, restricting from attempt to make any contact with the victim or her family, etc.

It may be noted that former Punjab MLA Simarjit Singh is involved in as many as 23 more cases. Thus, his release on bail through the present application is subject to his requirement in any other case, as noted by the Court.

[Simarjeet Singh Bains v. State of Punjab, 2023 SCC OnLine P&H 51, decided on 25-01-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioner: Advocate APS Deol with Advocate Himmat Singh Deol;

For Complainant/ Respondent: Advocate Prashant Manchanda, Advocate Ferry Sofat, Advocate H.S. Sitta, Advocate Vikas Arora, Advocate Anupam Gupta, Advocate Gautam Pathania, Advocate Bhavnik Mehta, Advocate Sukhpal Singh, Advocate Sekharan Singh, Advocate Chandan Dhandha.

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