Allahabad High Court’s interim order dated September 3rd, 2020 granting bail to the Govt. Council, who is accused of raping a young lawyer, was set aside by the apex court on September 24th, 2020. The interim bail was granted by Allahabad HC’s Lucknow bench in connection with FIR No. 0326 of 2020, under Sections 328, 354A, 376 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. Shailendra Singh Chauhan, Additional Chief Standing Counsel in the Lucknow bench of High Court has been accused of sexual harassment by a young practicing lawyer from Delhi alleging that Chauhan raped her in his chamber.
The Bench of Supreme Court comprising of Justice RF Nariman, Justice Navin Sinha, and Justice Indira Banerjee passed the order while hearing SLP against the HC order. The order said “On 05.08.2020, this Court had stayed the order of the Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court dated 31.07.2020 in which it had granted an order of anticipatory bail in a writ petition. After our order, the petitioner moved the trial Court for anticipatory bail, which, by order dated 19.08.2020 was rejected. By an interim order dated 03.09.2020, a learned Single Judge of the Allahabad High Court, Lucknow Bench, has granted interim bail on a bond being given until the next date of hearing. The reasons given are that the petitioner is a reputed Advocate of 29 years and there are no criminal antecedents. This being the case, we set aside the interim order dated 03.09.2020, having heard learned counsel for both sides at some length”.
The court further opined regarding the decision of HC that even after the apex court had quashed the HC order for not arresting the accused how the interim bail can be given, the court further said “We are surprised that the High Court should act in the teeth of our order dated 05.08.2020. This is a very serious case which must be investigated properly so that the truth ultimately will come out”.
Granting the interim bail to the Govt. Council on September 3rd, 2020 the Single Judge Bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh at Lucknow bench said that “The applicant is a reputed Advocate and has been practicing in this court for the last 29 years without any criminal antecedent(s). The applicant was Additional Chief Standing Counsel for the State Government and for a number of Departments and Corporations. The entire evidence against the applicant is based on documents. Having regards to the status which the applicant has, there is no likelihood of his fleeing away from justice”.
The Allahabad High Court before granted the interim relief from arrest to the accused on July 31st, 2020 after which on August 5th, 2020 the Supreme Court stayed the order of HC granting interim relief from arrest and again on August 21st, 2020 the Supreme Court issued a notice in a petition seeking the transfer of investigation and trial in the case. The petition seeking transfer of trial and investigation was filed by the victim’s friend apprehending that investigation in the case may be hindered due to the “clout” of the accused enjoyed back in the state.