False implication in sexual offences is on a rise, thus inordinate delay in lodging FIR has to be considered at the time of adjudicating bail: Allahabad High Court grants bail to persons accused of Rape

Allahabad High Court

Allahabad High Court: In bail applications pleas filed by the accused persons for offences under Sections 376-D, 342 and 506 of the Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’) Krishan Pahal, J without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, viewed that the accused persons have made out a case for bail. Thus, granted them bail.

The victim was the National President of ‘Janeu Kranti Abhiyan’ and the accused persons were also associated with the godman Chandra Mohan (founder Janeu Kranti Abhiyan) for about 10 years and used to live permanently with him since 2018. The victim has alleged that the accused persons have raped her in her room.

After a period, the accused persons came to know of godman Chandra Mohan’s illegal activities, and they posted messages on WhatsApp group regarding it. The posts on WhatsApp led immense protests against Chandra Mohan and almost all his disciples were divided into two sections, and a large section of his disciples rose against him. As a result of the said act, Chandra Mohan incurred a huge loss in the form of donations as his regular disciples discontinued their contributions leading to the stoppage of various campaigns and schemes. The new recruitment to the Ashram was also brought to a near halt. The present FIR has been foisted just three days after the said WhatsApp messages went viral.

The accused persons stated that the victim was medically examined, and no internal or external injury was found on her body to corroborate the prosecution allegations. Further, they stated that they had been falsely implicated in the case as they had enquired about the illegal activities being undertaken by the victim and other activists of the Ashram. The story has been cooked up just to harass the applicants and to dissuade them from bringing forward their illegal activities.

The accused persons also stated that prior to 06-08-2019, no other first information report (‘FIR’) was lodged by any of the followers of the founder ‘Janeu Kranti Abhiyan’ Chandra Mohan. Further, another FIR has also been foisted against the applicants demanding ransom and under the I.T. Act.

Further, they stated that the victim could have got the FIR lodged at Varanasi, but lodging of the FIR, all the way at a far from place about 800 kilometers from Varanasi at Meerut speaks volume of the malicious intent of the informant to implicate the accused persons at the behest of godman Chandra Mohan.

The Victim submitted that the delay caused in lodging the FIR is natural, as the victim was under acute pressure due to the Indian values to not to reveal the said act committed with her. Further, the false story of the involvement of godman Chandra Mohan has been foisted by the accused persons just to get themselves exonerated with the grave offences committed by them

Placing reliance on Bharwada Bhoginbhai Hirjibhai v. State of Gujarat, (1983) 3 SCC 217, wherein the Court has opined that “in the current non permissive Indian society, no girl would foist a false case of sexual assault against any person to avoid being maligned in society.” The Court said that the Indian society has undergone a complete change during the period of about 40 years and now it is more often observed that false implication in sexual offences is on a rise. The inordinate delay in lodging the first information report (‘FIR’) is to be considered at the time of adjudicating the bail.

The Court after considering the facts and circumstances of the case, submissions made by the parties, the evidence on record, the inordinate delay in lodging of the FIR by the informant and the fact that the trial is at its conclusive end, and without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, viewed that the accused persons have made out a case for bail. Thus, the Court granted them bail.

[Sandeep Kumar Mishra v State of U.P., 2023 SCC OnLine All 56, decided on 16-02-2023]

Order by: Justice Krishan Pahal

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Counsel for accused persons: Advocate Pulak Ganguly, Advocate Virendra Kumar Mishra, Advocate Sudhir Mehrotra;

Counsel for Victim: Government Advocate Shivam Yadav, Government Advocate Aditya Yadav.

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