Bombay HC Invalidates Proclamation Order in Rape Case, Demands 30 Days’ Notice for Accused’s Appearance

LI Network

Published on: January 1, 2024 at 22:02 IST

The Bombay High Court recently annulled a proclamation order against a Police Naik accused of raping and threatening a female Police Naik, citing the necessity of providing a minimum notice of 30 days for court appearance, as per section 82 of the CrPC.

Justice Sarang V Kotwal highlighted that the accused must be given a minimum of 30 days from the proclamation’s publication to appear, aligning with section 82 of the CrPC.

The Court referenced prior orders that consistently adhered to this requirement, emphasizing the need for a 30-day period for appearance.

The applicant, Deepak Sitaram Modhe, contested the proclamation order dated November 29, 2023, issued by JMFC, Pune, under Section 82 of the CrPC. The complaint was filed by a Female Police Naik against Modhe, a fellow Police Naik at Khadak Police Station, alleging rape, threats, and coercion into divorce, among other charges.

Modhe faces multiple charges under various sections of the IPC, including 307, 376(2)(n), 377, 392, 506(2), 504, and 323, along with sections under the Arms Act and the Maharashtra Police Act. His anticipatory bail pleas were previously rejected by both the trial court and the Bombay High Court. A non-bailable warrant was issued against him on November 24, 2023.

Advocate Aashish Satpute representing Modhe argued that the proclamation order’s directive for appearance within four days violated the mandatory 30-day period prescribed by Section 82 of the CrPC. He referred to three prior High Court orders supporting his contention.

Acknowledging the validity of the cited orders, Additional Public Prosecutor Sangita Shinde suggested that setting aside the current order would allow the investigating agency to pursue the remedy anew.

Examining the impugned order, Justice Kotwal noted that the proclaimed appearance date was set just four days after the issuance of the warrant, contrary to the mandatory 30-day requirement.

Consequently, the Court invalidated the order, allowing for a fresh process to issue the proclamation, adhering to statutory obligations.

The investigating agency was granted the liberty to take lawful steps to ensure the accused’s appearance.

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