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Are you willing to marry her, SC asks man accused of raping girl, grants protection from arrest

Team Udayavani, Mar 1, 2021, 8:49 PM IST

New Delhi: “Are you willing to marry her,” was the question posed to a public servant who is accused of repeatedly raping a girl but when the Supreme Court on Monday was told that he is already married he was asked to seek regular bail from the concerned court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde was hearing a plea filed by the accused who is serving as a technician in Maharashtra State Electricity Production Company Ltd and has moved the apex court against the Bombay High Court February 5 order which had cancelled the anticipatory bail granted to him in the case.

When the hearing commenced, the bench also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, asked the accused “Are you willing to marry her?”

“If you are willing to marry her then we can consider it, otherwise you will go to jail,” observed the bench adding “We are not forcing you to marry.”

After taking instructions on the query posed by the bench, the counsel appearing for the petitioner, said the accused was initially willing to marry the girl but she had refused and now he was married to someone else.

As the counsel said that the accused is a public servant, the bench said, “You should have thought this before seducing and raping the girl. You knew that you are a government servant”.

The counsel said that charges in the case are yet to be framed.

“You apply for regular bail. We will stay arrest,” the bench said.

The apex court granted the accused protection from arrest for four weeks.

“Counsel appearing for the petitioner prays for withdrawal of this petition with liberty to apply for regular bail within a period of four weeks from today. Prayer is allowed. However, the petitioner shall not be arrested till then. Accordingly, the special leave petition is dismissed as withdrawn with the liberty aforesaid,” the bench said in its order.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by the accused against the Bombay High Court’s February 5 order cancelling the anticipatory bail granted to him by the trial court in January last year.

He has also been accused of offences punishable under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

In his plea filed in the top court, he has referred to the Maharashtra Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules 1979 and said it pointed out that if a government servant is detained in police custody under criminal charges for a period of 48 hours, then he shall be deemed to have been placed under suspension by an order of appointing authority.

It was alleged that the man had repeatedly raped the girl since she was in ninth standard and threatened her also.

The plea said that when the girl and her mother reached the police station to lodge complaint, the mother of the petitioner requested them not to do so and said she was ready to make the girl her daughter-in-law.

It said when the girl turned 18 in June 2018, the petitioner’s mother refused for the marriage after which a complaint was lodged.

The man had filed anticipatory bail application in the trial court apprehending arrest.

The trial court in January 2020 had granted him anticipatory bail and also directed him to attend police station on every Saturday and Sunday till filing of the charge sheet.

The complainant later moved the high court seeking cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to the accused.

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