The Kerala High Court in the case XXX v. State of Kerala observed and released a man on bail of sexually assaulting his student over a span of eight years, finding that he had been in judicial custody for over a month.
The bench comprising of Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas observed that although prima facie there was evidence showing that the petitioner was involved in the crime, the petitioner continued incarceration was not necessary for the case. It was observed that a perusal of the case diary reveals that prima facie and there are materials on record to connect the petitioner with the crime. Thus, since on 21.06.2022, the petitioner was remanded on a judicial custody, the court is of the view that the continued detention of the petitioner is not required in the circumstances of the case. However, the petitioner is entitled on bail.
It was observed that from 2014 to 2022, the prosecution case was that over a span of eight years, the petitioner who is a tuition teacher, sexually assaulted his minor student including the various locations i.e., the bedroom of the petitioner’s house and even in the room of a church.
He was thereby punishable under Section 323 r/w Section 506(i) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 8 r/w Section 7, Section 10 r/w Sections 9(f), 9(l) and 9(m) of the POCSO, 2012.
The Counsel appearing for the petitioner, Advocate Devy contended that the entire prosecution case is false and that no offences as alleged had taken place. It was contended by her that the boy had attacked the petitioner and he sustained serious injuries and which had to be sutured by 96 stitches and that the complaint is the result of the said incident. It was also submitted that on 21.06.2022, the petitioner was arrest.
The grant of bail was opposed by the Public Prosecutor Nima Jacob and submitted that the petitioner has committed a serious crime and that releasing the petitioner on bail at this juncture would cause serious prejudice to the witness as well as the prosecution of the case. On following conditions, the Court released the petitioner on bail subject: The petitioner shall be released on bail on him executing a bond for Rs.50,000/- with two solvent sureties each for the like sum to the satisfaction of the court having jurisdiction. The petitioner as and when required shall appear before the Investigating Officer.
The petitioner shall not intimidate or attempt to influence the witnesses and nor shall he tamper with the evidence or contact the victim or his family members.
The petitioner while he is on bail, shall not commit any similar offences.
The petitioner without the permission of the jurisdictional Court shall not leave India. It was clarified by the Court that in case of violation of any of these conditions, the jurisdictional Court was empowered to consider cancellation of bail if any sought for, and an appropriate order needs to be passed in accordance with the law. Accordingly, the court granted the bail.