Supreme Court Grants Bail to Appellant in Sexual Assault Case Citing Evolving Statements of Victims

Supreme Court Law Insider

LI Network

Published on: 25 September 2023 at 00:11 IST

The Supreme Court of India has approved bail for the appellant in a Criminal Appeal. This decision comes following the appellant’s appeal against the High Court’s denial of suspending his sentence in a case involving alleged sexual assault.

The apex court issued its order on September 22, 2023, expressing its view that the accused should be granted bail, subject to specific conditions.

The case revolves around accusations of sexual assault under Section 376D of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The appellant faced these charges alongside a juvenile co-accused. However, crucial details that emerged during the trial influenced the Supreme Court’s decision.

In the Supreme Court’s order, the bench consisting of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Aravind Kumar highlighted a significant aspect, stating, “What emerged was that the victim, who was of legal age, seemingly went voluntarily with both the accused and was returned a week later. Initially, in her statement, she did not allege rape; however, four days later, she made such an allegation in the statement recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.” This observation sheds light on the evolving narrative of the case and the changing statements made by the victim.

The findings of the Trial Court also played a crucial role in the Supreme Court’s decision, with the judges noting, “The Trial Court’s findings also indicate that the victim went voluntarily with the accused individuals.”

Given these circumstances, the Supreme Court deemed it appropriate to suspend the appellant’s sentence and grant him bail.

The Court stressed that the Trial Court could impose specific terms and conditions for bail, including the requirement that the appellant report to the relevant Police Station on a weekly basis.

Importantly, the Supreme Court’s order urged the High Court to expedite the appeal process, emphasizing that its observations should not be interpreted as a judgment on the case’s merits.


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