The Supreme Court Wednesday refused to grant anticipatory bail to a man in connection with a case lodged for alleged offenses, including under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, saying it does not tolerate such an activity where the offensive photograph of a young girl is taken and then she is threatened.
The apex court observed that the allegations against the man are very serious and as of today, the victim’s statement recorded under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is against him.
A vacation bench of Justices M R Shah and Aniruddha Bose was hearing a petition against the May this year order of the Calcutta High Court, which had rejected the man’s plea seeking anticipatory bail in the case lodged in West Bengal.
The case was lodged in October last year for the alleged offenses, including that cheating and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the relevant provisions of the POCSO Act, 2012.
”You do such an activity, we don’t tolerate. In our society, we don’t take a photograph of a young girl and then threaten,” the top court observed.
The counsel appearing for the man told the bench that he had joined the investigation and is cooperating in the probe. ”How can you take a nude photograph and then threaten?,” the top court said, adding, ”As of today, the 164 (of CrPC) statement is against you. There are very serious allegations.” The council said there is no allegation against the man that he has not cooperated in the investigation.
The advocate argued that the man is ready to cooperate in every way and is ready to abide by any condition that the apex court may impose upon him.
”Sorry. Rejected,” the bench orally said.
The man had earlier approached the high court seeking anticipatory bail claiming that he has been falsely implicated in the case.
The counsel appearing for the state had argued before the high court that the de-facto complainant alleges wrongdoings to her while she was minor and there is a statement of the victim recorded under section 164 of the CrPC before a magistrate to such an effect.
The lawyer appearing for the de-facto complainant had contended before the high court that the petitioner was in a relationship with the victim while she was a minor and her offensive photographs and videography were taken by him.
”There is a statement of the victim recorded under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code. There are money transactions between the victim, the de-facto complainant on one part, and the petitioner,” the high court had noted in its order.
”Considering the entirety of the materials in the case diary, we are unable to grant anticipatory bail to the petitioner,” it had said.