Delhi

SC sets aside HC order granting bail to police officer accused of raping minor

The Supreme Court has set aside the Allahabad High Court order granting bail to a police officer accused of raping a 13-year-old girl who was brought to a police station in Uttar Pradesh for registering a complaint of alleged sexual assault on her by four persons.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has set aside the Allahabad High Court order granting bail to a police officer accused of raping a 13-year-old girl who was brought to a police station in Uttar Pradesh for registering a complaint of alleged sexual assault on her by four persons.

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The apex court said that there is no reason to justify the grant of bail to the accused who was the Station House Officer (SHO) and allegedly grossly abused his office to commit “same heinous crime” of raping the minor victim.

A bench of justices A S Bopanna and Sanjay Kumar delivered the order on a plea filed by the victim’s mother challenging the March 2 last year order of the high court.

“In the present case, the situation is far worse as respondent no.1, being the station house officer of the police station, where the minor victim girl was brought for securing her justice, is alleged to have resorted to committing the same heinous crime of raping her,” the bench said in its order passed on Friday.

“In this situation, his prayer for grant of bail required more than the cursory appraisal that was bestowed by the high court. We do not find any reasons worth the name justifying the grant of bail to respondent no.1 at this stage,” it said.

It allowed the appeal filed by the victim’s mother and set aside the high court order.

The bench directed that the accused shall surrender forthwith, failing which the state shall take necessary steps to apprehend him and send him to judicial custody.

Senior advocate H S Phoolka appeared for the victim’s mother in the case.

She had approached the apex court against the high court order granting bail to the accused in an FIR lodged for alleged offences under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including that of rape, and under the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

In its order, the top court noted that according to the prosecution, the minor girl was placed in the custody of the SHO on April 27, 2022 in connection with registering a complaint against four men, who were alleged to have sexually assaulted her.

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