HC refuses bail to Pune rape accused over minor survivor’s contradictory statements
The Bombay high court (HC) has refused to grant bail to a youth (21) from Pune, who is accused of raping a 15-year-old he was reportedly in a relationship with, as the minor’s statements were found to be at odds.
While refusing bail to Imran Sayyed, Justice Bharati Dangre took into consideration that the statements given by the rape survivor to the police and the one recorded before a judicial magistrate, under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), were contradictory.
In her statement to the police, the girl had stated that she was friendly with Sayyed, who once took her to his residence and sexually assaulted her. She was meted out a similar treatment again, as the accused had threatened to make their relationship public.
However, in the statement recorded before the judicial magistrate on August 20, 2019, the minor had stated that “there was no coercion at the instance of the applicant and they were in love and were likely to get married.”
Justice Dangre said, “This statement is in contradiction of her statement given to the police. Now, which statement is accurate will depend upon the outcome of the trial, when the prosecutrix (the rape survivor) will stand in the witness box before the court and depose.”
The judge cited that the veracity of the crime should not be doubted on the ground that one statement was given under section 164. She pointed to the medical examination, which revealed that there were multiple old, healed hymenal abrasions. The injuries corroborated the statement that at least on two occasions the minor was sexually assaulted, the judge added.
The HC also rejected Sayyed’s contention that it was a consensual act, and, as a result, the charge of rape was not applicable.
Sayyed has been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
It was argued on Sayyed’s behalf that he was falsely implicated in the case, as the rape survivor and he were in love. “Her silence on the two occasions speaks for itself. Also, the fact that she did not narrate these incidents (of sexual assaults) to anyone else shows her consent,” his lawyer had submitted.
However, the submissions failed to impress justice Dangre. “The prosecutrix is 15 and her consent to the said act is immaterial,” the judge added.