Bombay HC refuses bail to man who raped his stepdaughter
The Bombay high court rejected the bail plea of a Navghar resident, who was arrested for allegedly raping his minor stepdaughter, on Tuesday. Justice Sadhana Jadhav rejected his plea primarily in view of the heinous nature of the alleged crime.
The incident came to light after the survivor narrated her plight to a friend, who helped her lodge a police complaint and get in touch with a helpline. Based on her complaint, the Navghar police, on August 20, 2016, booked the alleged rapist and the survivor’s mother.
According to the complaint, the mother had divorced the survivor’s biological father in 2004 and married the Navghar resident in 2005. The survivor said that ever since she and her mother joined the accused, he had been sexually exploiting her and though she complained to her mother, the latter ignored her complaints and also tried to persuade her not to lodge a police complaint.
Navghar police arrested both her stepfather and mother on the same day, immediately after the registration of the FIR. But, her mother was later released on bail, after which the survivor’s statement was recorded by a magistrate.
In her statement before the magistrate, the survivor gave a completely different story and said that she had lodged a false report against him, as he was a strict disciplinarian who would allow her remain outdoor after 7pm and would not allow her to roam around with her male friends. She further informed the magistrate that she regretted lodging a false complaint against her stepfather and did not wish to pursue the complaint.
In view of such contradictory statements by the survivor, justice Jadhav felt it necessary to interview the survivor and after interviewing her, noticed the statement — given after her mother was released on bail — to the magistrate was given by her under coercion.
“After interviewing the victim and taking her into confidence, this court is convinced that the statement under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was given under pressure and coercion and that she had retracted from her earlier statement only to save the family,” said the judge.
No HC relief to abusive teacher
The Bombay high court has refused to grant relief to Nandkumar Shinde, a teacher at the Shivaji Technical School at Pantnagar in Ghatkopar and who has been booked for misbehaving with girl students. Justice Sadhana Jadhav rejected Shinde’s anticipatory bail plea primarily in view of the fact that he was earlier removed from service owing to a similar charge in another school. The judge also expressed utter displeasure over the conduct of Shivaji Technical School for ignoring the complaints of the parents of girl students. “The conduct of the principal of the said school reflects a lack of sensitivity,” said Justice Jadhav, and added, “She had no intention to take any coercive action against the applicant.” The judge said that the principal should have approached the police immediately after receiving complaints from parents.
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