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Interim relief granted to government counsel accused of sexual harassment by a young lawyer

Interim relief granted to government counsel accused of sexual harassment by a young lawyer
On Friday (31st July 2020) the Allahabad HC restrained the police from arresting a government counsel in relation to a rape case against him filed by a young lawyer.

A division bench of Justice AR Masoodi and Justice Rajeev Singh at Lucknow was hearing the government counsel's plea for quashing of the FIR. The bench said, “Looking at the contents of the F.I.R., prima facie, we are satisfied that a case for intervention is made out to the extent that the petitioner(accused) may not be arrested.”

Shailendra Singh Chauhan, Additional Chief Counsel in the Lucknow bench of the High Court, has been accused of sexually harassing a young lawyer from Delhi. He has been accused of raping her in his chamber.

An FIR was registered at the Vibhuti Khand Police Station in Gomti Nagar area under Sections 328 (Causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offense), 354A (Sexual harassment) and 376 (Rape) of IPC.

Chauhan approached the HC claiming the allegations made against him to be false and requesting the FIR against him to be quashed.

Chauhan has been granted interim relief from the arrest but the court refused to quash the proceedings instantly. The complainant’s lawyer has been asked to file a reply concerning the matter. The Court didn’t express much on the merits of the case.

Chauhan has been instructed not to do any such activity that would intimidate or cause a threat to the complainant’s life or property.

The bench, during the course of hearing, was informed that the complainant's statement under Section 164 of CrPC had been recorded by the trial court but complete instructions in the matter were awaited. Also, 

some relevant material was left at Chauhan's chamber (alleged place of offense) and an application had been moved by the IO for taking possession, which was pending.

The concerned trial court has been directed by the HC, in view of these submissions, 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.

The order says, “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.”

The matter will next be heard on 27th August 2020.


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