The Supreme Court on Wednesday (August 5,2020) stayed the Allahabad High Court’s order granting interim relief from arrest to the Additional Chief Standing Counsel in the Lucknow bench of the High Court, Shailendra Singh Chauhan in connection to allegedly committing rape.
The bench comprising of Justice Rohinton F. Nariman and Justice Naveen Sinha while hearing the SLP against the HC order have stayed the operation of the impugned order extended just to the restraining the police from arresting the counsel. The two judges’ bench did not bar the High Court’s following direction – “As an interim measure, the competent court is hereby directed to pass necessary orders on the pending application so that the investigating agency may assume possession of the relevant material which may have a bearing upon the case. As an abundant caution, we provide that an appropriate order to this effect may be passed so that there is no tampering with the evidence of the case.”
A FIR was lodged at the Vibhuti Khand Police Station in Gomti Nagar area, Lucknow by a young practicing lawyer from Delhi, mentioning a complaint of sexual harassment against the Government Counsel Chauhan. The FIR contains a case under Section 328 (Causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offense), Section 354A (Sexual harassment), and Section 376 (Rape) of IPC. Subsequently, counsel Chauhan approached the High Court stating the allegations to be false and baseless and sought the FIR lodged against him should be quashed accordingly. On 31st July, a bench of Justices A R Masoodi and Rajeev Singh of the Allahabad High Court while refusing to quash the FIR against him instantly, granted interim protection from arrest. The HC through its order has enabled the investigation team to acquire relevant evidence which are connected to the case.