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Court grants bail to man accused of raping US national after she refuses to pursue matter

The Delhi high court has granted bail to a man, a co-accused in the alleged gang-rape of a US national, after the woman said she does not want to pursue her complaint further, almost three years after the incident in August 2017
By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2021 11:44 PM IST

The Delhi high court has granted bail to a man, a co-accused in the alleged gang-rape of a US national, after the woman said she does not want to pursue her complaint further, almost three years after the incident in August 2017.The main accused is already out on interim bail.

Justice Anu Malhotra, on February 11, granted regular bail to Amit Balguhar, after the court noted that the woman no longer wished to provide her testimony or to have any further involvement in the matter.

The woman, through the US Department of Justice, had informed the court in August 2020 that she does not want to have any further involvement in the matter and asked not to be contacted again by the Indian authorities.

The woman has earlier complained that two men—Shamim and Balguhar -- had gang-raped her in Safdarjung Enclave on August 25, 2017. Balguhar, she alleged, was privy to the crime and helped Shamim to sexually assault her and then later destroy the evidence.

The court, while granting bail to Balguhar, noted that the woman had not joined the proceedings through video conferencing and her statement was recorded on September 3, 2019.

“The attempts for video conferencing for recording of the statement of the prosecutrix did not succeed for long and on September 3, 2019, her counsel placed on record an email received from her stating that she was not willing to come to India as she had been medically advised against travel and that it was not within her province to arrange the video conferencing process for recording of her testimony,” the court noted.

Appearing for the accused, his counsels Akshai Malik and Khawar Saleem, contended that there was a delay of 24 days in the registration of the FIR. They also said the complainant was in a consensual relationship with the accused.

The court said considering the totality of circumstances, the accused is entitled to bail. The main accused Shamim is also out on interim bail.

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