-Report by Ankit Hinnariya
In a recent ruling, the High Court of Delhi granted anticipatory bail to Faheem Ahmed and Danish Khan, the petitioners in a case registered under Sections 323/354/354B/376/34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Laxmi Nagar Police Station. The judgment, delivered by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar, took into account the arguments presented by both the petitioners and the State. This article provides an overview of the case, the contentions raised by the parties involved, and the court’s decision.
The case at hand involves an FIR registered at Laxmi Nagar Police Station in Delhi under Sections 323/354/354B/376/34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The FIR was lodged against Faheem Ahmed and Danish Khan, the petitioners, on the basis of allegations made by the complainant. The FIR accused the petitioners of offences including assault, molestation, and rape.
The initial PCR call made by the complainant on September 9, 2022, alleged molestation by the petitioners. The following day, another PCR call was made, claiming that the petitioners had threatened the complainant and intended to rape her along with their friends.
Subsequently, at 2:04 PM on the same day, another PCR call reiterated these allegations.
It was only on September 26, 2022, when the written complaint was forwarded to the concerned Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), that the allegations of rape were levelled against the petitioners. Prior to this, the charges primarily revolved around molestation.
The medical examination of the complainant conducted on September 9, 2022, did not reveal any signs of rape. The observations made by the doctor from Hedgewar Hospital suggested physical assault rather than rape.
On October 19, 2022, another PCR call was made by the complainant, alleging molestation once again by the petitioners.
These facts form the basis of the case, indicating the sequence of events leading to the filing of the FIR and the subsequent allegations against the petitioners. The court took into consideration these facts while evaluating the merits of the case and deciding on the grant of anticipatory bail to the petitioners.
In their petition for anticipatory bail, the petitioners, Faheem Ahmed and Danish Khan, presented several contentions to support their innocence and request protection from arrest. These contentions were put forth by their advocate, Ms. ParulAgarwal, during the court proceedings.
The petitioner argued that the allegations levelled against them in the FIR were false and frivolous. They claimed that there was an ongoing family dispute and various civil suits related to property matters, which might have prompted the filing of the FIR as an attempt to harm their reputation and grab their share of the property.
The petitioner highlighted inconsistencies in the statements of the complainant, specifically regarding the charges under Section 376 of the IPC (rape). They contended that the allegations of rape were added later, after the complainant’s statement was recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C.), suggesting that these additional charges were an afterthought.
The petitioners’ counsel argued that custodial interrogation of the petitioners was unnecessary. They emphasized that the petitioners were willing to cooperate with the investigation and were ready to join it whenever required by the investigating officer. The petitioner further stated that no recovery was to bemade from the petitioners, indicating that their presence in custody was not warranted.
The petitioner asserted that there were no grounds to believe that the petitioners would abscond or tamper with evidence. They assured the court that their clients had no intention of evading the law and would actively participate in the proceedings.
These contentions were presented to establish the petitioners’ innocence and argue for the grant of anticipatory bail, ensuring their protection from arrest pending the investigation.
The respondents, represented by Mr. Amit Ahlawat, Assistant Public Prosecutor, He was accompanied by SI Sanyukta from the Laxmi Nagar Police Station. Additionally, Mr. Ankit Mehta, Mr. Varun Singh, and Mr. Sanjay Kumar served as advocates representing the second respondent in the case, and presented their contentions opposing the grant of anticipatory bail to the petitioners, Faheem Ahmed and Danish Khan.
The prosecution argued that the allegations against the petitioners were grave and serious in nature. They emphasized the severity of the charges under Sections 323/354/354B/376/34 of the IPC. The respondents contended that considering the seriousness of the offences, the petitioners should not be granted anticipatory bail.
The respondents highlighted that the complainant had submitted a detailed complaint to the police, providing a comprehensive account of the allegations made against the petitioners. They also pointed out that the complainant’s statement under Section 164 of the Cr.P.C. further supported the charges brought against the petitioners.
The complainant opposed the grant of anticipatory bail to the petitioners. The respondents argued that the complainant’s objection was based on the serious nature of the allegations and the need for a thorough investigation into the matter.
While the respondents focused on the gravity of the charges and the complainant’s detailed complaint, they did not contest the petitioners’ contention that custodial interrogation was unnecessary or that no recovery was to be made from the petitioners. Instead, their primary contention revolved around the seriousness of the allegations and the complainant’s opposition to the grant of anticipatory bail.
Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar carefully considered the arguments presented and examined the facts of the case. The court noted that the initial PCR calls made by the complainant only alleged molestation and the charges of rape were added at a later stage. Additionally, the medical examination conducted on the complainant did not indicate signs of rape but suggested physical assault.
Referring to relevant judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, Justice Bhatnagar emphasized that the severity of the accusations alone should not be the sole basis for denying anticipatory bail. The court emphasized the presumption of innocence and the importance of an individual’s liberty. Taking into account the overall facts and circumstances of the case, the court allowed the bail applications and ordered that if arrested, the petitioners be released on bail upon furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 25,000 each with one surety to the satisfaction of the Arresting Officer/SHO concerned.
READ FULL JUDGEMENT: https://bit.ly/3Bkc33a