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Geeta Gupta & Others v/s State of Himachal Pradesh


    Cr.MP(M) Nos. 604, 605, 606 of 2021

    Decided On, 06 May 2021

    At, High Court of Himachal Pradesh

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE CHANDER BHUSAN BAROWALIA

    For the Petitioners: Arvind Sharma, Advocate. For the Respondent: S.C. Sharma, Additional Advocate General.



Judgment Text

(Through video conference)

(Oral)

The matter is taken up through video conference.

2. Petitioners Geeta Gupta and Susheela have maintained petitions under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for grant of bail, in the event of their arrest, in case FIR No. 13 of 2021, dated 06.03.2021, under Sections 363, 366A, 376, 120B IPC and Section 4 of POCSO Act, registered at Police Station New Shimla, District Shimla, H.P. Petitioner Rahul Dhawan @ Dolly maintained a petition under Section 439 of the Code of Criminal Procedure for grant of bail in the above case. As all the petitions arise out of one incidence, hence taken up together for consideration and disposal.

3. As per the petitioners, they are innocent and have been falsely implicated in the present case. They are permanent residents of the place and neither in a position to tamper with the prosecution evidence nor in a position to flee from justice, so they may be released on bail.

4. Police report stands filed. As per the prosecution, on 06.03.2021 complainant made a written complaint to the police, wherein it has been alleged that the prosecutrix, daughter of the complainant (name withheld), who studies in 10 class, did not return home on 06.03.2021, after attending the school. In the evening, wife of the complaint received a telephonic call and the prosecutrix informed that she is getting married with one Rahul Dhawan @ Dolly (one of the petitioners herein). The complainant had suspicion that petitioner Dolly took the prosecutrix with him. On the basis of the complaint, so made by the complainant, police registered a case under the apt sections and investigation ensued. On 07.03.2021 Rahul Dhawan @ Dolly produced the prosecutrix before the police. The prosecutrix was medically examined, her statement under Section 161 Cr.P.C. was recorded and her statement under Section 164 Cr.P.C. was also recorded. It has come in the investigation that Rahul Dhawan @ Dolly took the prosecutrix in a pickup and at Totu market, where they purchased goods for solemnizing marriage. At Shiv Temple, Totu, Rahul Dhawan @ Dolly and the prosecutrix solemnized marriage in absence of priest. Thereafter, the prosecutrix and Rahul Dhawan @ Dolly stayed in a hotel. Police procured the records qua the stay of the prosecutrix and Rahul Dhawan @ Dolly in a hotel and qua the date of birth of the prosecutrix. The pickup, which was allegedly used in the offence, was taken into possession by the police alongwith its documents and key and co-accused, who helped Rahul Dhawan @ Dolly in committing the crime were also booked. Co-accused Geeta Gupta and Susheela (petitioners herein), clicked photographs of the marriage ceremony from the mobile phone of petitioner Rahul Dhawan @ Dolly. Co-accused Geeta Gupta and Susheela have already been enlarged on interim bail by this Court, vide order dated 26.03.2021. It has further come in the police report that the police effected the relevant recoveries. As per the police, investigation in the matter is complete and now challan is under consideration and will be filed soon. Lastly, it is prayed that the applications of the petitioners be dismissed, as they were found involved in a serious crime, the petitioners in case at this stage are enlarged on bail, they may tamper with the prosecution evidence and may also flee from justice.

5. I have heard the learned Counsel for the petitioners, learned Additional Advocate General for the State and gone through the records, including the police report, carefully.

6. The learned counsel for the petitioners has argued that the petitioners are innocent and they are neither in a position to tamper with the prosecution evidence nor in a position to flee from justice, as they are permanent residents of the place. He has further argued that investigation in the matter is complete, nothing remains to be recovered either from the petitioners or at their instance, custody of the petitioners is not at all required by the police. The petitioners are ready and willing to be abide by the terms and conditions of bail, in case granted, so considering all the facts and circumstances, which emerge, the petitions may be allowed and the petitioners may be enlarged on bail. Conversely, learned Additional Advocate General has argued that the petitioner Rahul Dhawan @ Dolly has committed heinous crime and other petitioners Geeta Gupta and Susheela played an active role in commission of the crime. He has further argued that in case, at this stage, the petitioners are enlarged on bail, they may flee from justice or tamper with the prosecution evidence. Considering the seriousness and gravity of the offence and overall facts and circumstances of the case, the bail applications of the petitioners may be dismissed.

7. In rebuttal the learned Counsel for the petitioners have argued that the petitioners are local residents of the place and thus they are neither in a position to flee from justice nor in a position to tamper with the prosecution evidence and the custodial interrogation of the petitioners is not at all required by the police, as the investigation is complete and now the custody of the petitioners is not at all required. He has further argued that sending the petitioners (Geeta Gupta and Susheela) behind the bars will not serve any fruitful purpose and keeping petitioner Rahul Dhawan @ Dolly behind the bars for an unlimited period will also not serve any purpose, as his custody is not at all required by the police and nothing remains to be recovered at his instance, so the petitions be allowed and the petitioners be enlarged on bail.

8. At this stage, considering the manner in which the incident is alleged to have taken place, the fact that all the petitioners are residents of the place, so neither in a position to flee from justice nor in a position to tamper with the prosecution evidence, considering the fact that investigation in the matter is complete, nothing remains to be recovered either from the petitioners or at their instance, petitioners Geeta Gupta and Susheela are joining the investigation and co-operating in it, custody of the petitioners is not at all required by the police, the fact that by sending the petitioners Geeta Gupta and Susheela behind the bars will not serve any fruitful purpose and also the fact that keeping petitioner Rahul Dhawan @ Dolly behind the bars for an unlimited period will also not serve any fruitful purpose, especially when investigation is complete, nothing remains to be recovered either from the petitioners or at their instance and also considering the fact that the petitioners are ready and willing to abide by the terms and conditions of bail, in case granted and also considering all the facets of the case and without discussing them elaborately, this Court finds that the present is a fit case where the judicial discretion to admit the petitioners (Geeta Gupta and Susheela) on bail, in the event of their arrest, in this case, is required to be exercised in their favour. Accordingly, their petitions are allowed and it is ordered that the petitioners, Geeta Gupta and Susheela, in the event of their arrest, in case FIR No. 13 of 2021, dated 06.03.2021, under Sections 363, 366A, 376, 120B IPC and Section 4 of POCSO Act, registered at Police Station New Shimla, District Shimla, H.P., shall be released on bail forthwith, subject to their furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs.25,000/- (rupees twenty five thousand) each with one surety each in the like amount to the satisfaction of the Investigating Officer.

9. As far as petitioner Rahul Dhawan @ Dolly is concerned, he is also enlarged on bail in case FIR No. 13 of 2021, dated 06.03.2021, under Sections 363, 366A, 376, 120B IPC and Section 4 of POCSO A

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ct, registered at Police Station New Shimla, District Shimla, H.P., subject to his furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs. 50,000/- (rupees fifty thousand) with one surety in the like amount to the satisfaction of the learned Trial Court. 10. The petitioners are granted bail subject to the following conditions: (i) That the petitioners will appear before the learned Trial Court/Police/authorities as and when required. (ii) That the petitioners will not leave India without prior permission of the Court. (iii) That the petitioners will not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him/her from disclosing such facts to the Investigating Officer or Court. 11. In view of the above, the petitions are disposed of. Copy dasti.
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