The High Court of Punjab and Haryana denied bail to an accused of gang-rape.
“Merely because the DNA report (of the rape victim) does not match with the petitioner cannot be termed to be a circumstance to conclude that the petitioner is not involved in the crime”
The matter, listed before the bench of Justice Vivek Puri, was regarding bail in regard to an FIR dated 4th May 2018 under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 along with sections 6 and 7 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.
The bench took into the record that the report was filed by the complainant when his daughter visited the accused’s shop to provide tea, was kidnapped by 3 persons. When the complainant tried to find her, she was found in a room with these people. Furthermore, she alleged that she was subjected to gang rape and death threats in the even she disclosed information about the incident.
The counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner contended that he was found during the course of the investigation and was summoned under Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. He also pointed out the fact that another accused, Sonu, was granted bail by the court.
The counsel appearing on behalf of the state argued that the petitioner was not on par with Sonu and urged that it was a case of gang rape as the victim had provided categoric allegations regarding the act. Moreover, he argued that the order in which the petitioner summoned has been upheld by the court.
Justice Puri observed-
“It is a case of gang rape and merely because the DNA report does not match with the petitioner cannot be termed to be a circumstance to conclude that the petitioner is not involved in the crime”
He specified that in her statement recorded during the course of the trial she categorially identified two of the accused and denied the implication of Sonu, the co-accused. Based on this he said that the petitioner cannot be treated on par with Sonu.
The court held –
“Merely because the petitioner was found innocent during the investigation cannot be construed as a mitigating circumstance to extend concession of bail”
Moreover, the Single Bench noted that the petitioner has been summoned by the trial Court under Section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the said order has a seal of approval of the High Court. Accordingly, it expressed the view that no ground is made out to extend the concession of bail to the petitioner.