HC orders re-arrest of rape-accused, reprimands trial magistrate for granting bail

HC orders re-arrest of rape-accused, reprimands trial magistrate for granting bail

Says, in public interest, bail should be refused to ‘rapist’, Sogam magistrate’s wisdom to bail out ‘rapist’ of a minor girl  
SRINAGAR: Observing that perpetrators of rape are worse than even beasts and deserve to be dealt with a heavy hand, the J&K High Court on Wednesday said that any person accused of rape should be refused bail where larger public interest is involved.
Disposing off a petition filed by father of a victim girl, a single bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey also asked the Registrar General of the high court to seek an explanation from judicial magistrate first class Kupwara for granting bail to one of the accused— Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh— despite a restrictions put by section 497-C of Code of Criminal Procedure, which provides that no person accused of an offence punishable under RPC sections, dealing with rape, shall be released on bail unless the public prosecutor is given opportunity of being heard.
“The case in hand relates to kidnapping and raping of a minor girl. In such cases, the court should always remain alive to the nature of sufferings of the victim resulting from the alleged crime because in that lies the larger interest of the public,” the court said, underling that where “in the larger public interest is found to keep the accused out of the circulation from the society, the bail should be refused.”
The court observed that the trial magistrate has remained oblivious to the well settled law by granting bail to the accused.
“The order (granting bail to accused) obviously depicts non-application of mind on part of trial magistrate in as much as it has caused miscarriage of justice,” the court said while observing that rape is one of most barbaric and heinous crimes not only against the victim but also against her family and society as a whole.
“The cases of rape, gang rape and digital rape are on increase and perpetrators of this inhuman and brutal crime are worse than even beasts and deserve to be dealt with a heavy hand. The entire country is seriously debating this issue and there are proposals coming forth that death penalty should be the answer to deal with the accused involved in such heinous crime,” the court said, emphasizing that no one should be allowed to “trivialise the gravity of offence by misusing the same as a weapon for vengeance or vendetta.”
“It is appalling to see that rape rears its ugly facade almost every day. Rape being fastest growing crime is undoubtedly one of most deplorable, belligerent and atrocious act committed against dignity of a woman. Rape has been held to be even more serious than murder that not only destroys woman physically but also shatters her inner-self by destroying her each living moment emotionally and psychologically,” it said, observing that the rape is a crime against one’s mind, psyche and reputation.
“Rape leaves a permanent scar on the life of the victim and it becomes horrendous for victim of rape to lead a dignified and well respected life in the society,” the court said and termed it “very unfortunate that there is a high increase in the rape instances and ravenous maniacs are not even sparing girls of a very tender age.”
According to her father, the victim, a minor girl, was kidnapped by five persons following which he approach police station Sogam where FIR (no.27/2016 under Sections 363, 109 RPC) was registered on 3 May last year against the accused persons.
During investigation, the girl was recovered from accused and one of them, Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh was arrested on spot while as other accused persons gave slip to police.
She was put to medical examination which confirmed rape. Her statement was recorded by Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Kupwara on 10 May 2016, in which she admitted her kidnapping by the accused as also commission of rape upon her.
Though Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh was arrested, the Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Kupwara on 05 July 2016 granted him bail despite opposition by police, contending that investigation was on and search for other accused person was in motion.
The high court was informed that the trial magistrate ignored the statement of the girl, recorded by the him under Section 164-A Cr.P.C. “It shows that order (granting bail) has been passed without application of judicial mind, as such, has caused failure and miscarriage of justice,” counsel for the petitioner said.
Accepting the submissions by the counsel, the court allowed the plea and set-aside order granting bail to Sheikh.  “Senior Superintendent of Police, Kupwara, is directed to take into custody accused (Sheikh),” the court said and directed the police officer to file compliance report.

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