Bombay HC Refuses To Grant Bail To Man Booked For Gangraping Minor In 2020

Bombay HC Refuses To Grant Bail To Man Booked For Gangraping Minor In 2020

Bo,bay HC: It is a “very serious case of gang rape” and the conduct of the victim and her father clearly shows that the accused are “influencing” the witnesses

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Monday, April 22, 2024, 05:04 PM IST
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Bombay HC | File

Mumbai: The Bombay high court has refused to grant bail to a man booked on charges for gang raping a minor in 2020 observing that it is a “very serious case of gang rape” and the conduct of the victim and her father clearly shows that the accused are “influencing” the witnesses. The court also noted that mere delay in trial pertaining to serious and grave offences and long incarceration of the accused by itself cannot be a ground to grant bail.  Justice Madhav Jamdar has, however, directed the sessions court to complete the trial in the case in nine months. 

The HC was hearing a petition by one Somnath Gaikwad seeking bail. His advocate Sana Raees Khan argued that he has been incarcerated since his arrest in October 2020 and there is no progress in the trial and even the charges against the accused persons have not been framed yet. She emphasised that she is not seeking bail on merit. The Hadapsar police in Pune had registered an offence against Gaikwad and others in October 2020 for allegedly gang raping a 15-year-old girl. 

Justice Jamdar noted that Gaikwad is facing charge of gang-rape, which is a serious offence, and the minimum punishment for the offence is life in prison. Also the punishment for the charges under the POCSO is 20 years.  “This is a very serious case where the allegation is that the applicant (Gaikwad) is involved in committing the offence of gang rape. When the incident took place, the victim was only 15 years old. Therefore, there is no case made out for grant of bail even on the ground of long incarceration,” the court said on April 18. “Mere delay in the trial pertaining to grave offences, by itself, cannot be a ground to enlarge an accused on bail, dehors the facts.” 

'No objection to bail being granted to Gaikwad'

It added that no straitjacket formula is prescribed in law to hold that there has been long incarceration of an undertrial. The victim and her father, who  were present in the court, told the judge that they had no objection to bail being granted to Gaikwad.  Expressing shock at their statement, the court said the conduct of the victim and her father raises a doubt that the accused persons are influencing the witnesses in the case.

“The conduct of the Respondent No.2 [father] and of the victim clearly shows that the Accused are influencing the witnesses. In the facts and circumstances of this case, it is absolutely essential to expedite the trial. ,” Justice Jamdar added while asking the sessions court to conclude the trial in nine months.  The judge has also asked the trial court to file “periodical reports” before HC every three months to ensure that the trial is concluded expeditiously. “This direction is issued as the case is of gang rape and the accused persons are attempting to influence the victim and the witnesses and are also tampering with the evidence,” the judge underlined. 

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