Bombay High Court Grants Bail To Man Accused Of Disrobing Minor, Cites Probable Trial Delay

Bombay High Court Grants Bail To Man Accused Of Disrobing Minor, Cites Probable Trial Delay

HC says he has been behind bars without a trial for 29 months; no incriminating evidence found

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, February 13, 2024, 03:42 AM IST
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Bombay High Court | PTI

Observing that there is “no hope of trial being concluded within a reasonable time”, the Bombay High Court has granted bail to a man who was arrested for allegedly forcibly undressing a minor and taking her nude pictures.

Details of case

The court was hearing a bail plea filed by the accused slapped with charges of stalking and sexually harassing the child. According to the prosecution, the man forcibly took the minor into an under-construction building and showed her obscene pictures on August 29, 2021. Thereafter, he removed her clothes and took photos. The complaint was registered by the girl’s father on September 3, 2021.

Advocate Bhanudas Jagtap argued that his client had been in custody for nearly 29 months and that the trial was unlikely to proceed expeditiously. The plea was opposed by Additional Public Prosecutor, AA Palkar, contending that this wasn't an isolated incident. The man had harassed and stalked the victim on multiple occasions during her way to tuition classes, argued Palkar. The prosecutor pointed out the victim’s statement to the police wherein she narrated the ordeal.

Court's observations

The court, however, opined that the police had seized his mobile phone and no incriminating evidence was found on it. “Considering the overall material on record coupled with the fact that the applicant is behind the bars without a trial for 29 months with no hope of trial being concluded within a reasonable time, I am persuaded to grant him bail,” said Justice PK Chavan.

The court directed his release on furnishing a personal bond of Rs30,000. The court has directed him not to enter the jurisdiction of the Oshiwara police station till the conclusion of trial; except for attending the police station on the first Sunday of each month. “The applicant shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case. He should not tamper with evidence,” ordered the court. 

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