The petitioner was residing with his son in a room in Calicut Tower Hotel, Khozikode in the month of November in 2015. During their stay in the hotel, one day petitioner touched and held his son’s manhood in his hands with sexual intent. Mother of the victim asserted that Petitioner had done the same act on a few earlier occasions as well. Petitioner was working abroad earlier but currently, he is residing permanently in Kerala. Mother of the victim is a school teacher, On 17th November 2017, she lodged a complaint with Co-ordinator of the Childline Authority in which she narrated the acts of sexual assault committed by petitioner. Childline Authorities alerted the police. Police responded quickly and recorded the statement of the victim boy immediately and thereafter, a case was registered against the petitioner. Petitioner was charged under section 7 read with 8,9(l), 9(m), 9(n) and 10 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. Statement of the mother of the victim reveals that she was aware of the acts of sexual assault committed by the petitioner on her son since 2015 but she did not complain to anyone before 19th November 2017. Her relationship with her husband and in-laws had been strained by then and she also filed a case of cruelty under section 498A of Indian Penal Code against her husband and his relatives. Petitioner approached the High Court of Kerala seeking anticipatory bail under section 438 of the Cr.P.C in case he is arrested.
The Decision of the Case
Learned Single Judge Justice R. Narayana Pisharadi after examining the evidence and listening to both the sides granted the anticipatory bail to the petitioner provided he executes a bond for Fifty thousand rupees with two sureties. Court further imposed few other conditions such as:
- The investigating officer may interrogate the petitioner before releasing him on the bail and petitioner has to co-operate with him.
- Petitioner shall appear before the investigating officer between 9 a.m and 11 a.m on all Saturdays for a period of three months from the date of release on bail.
- Petitioner shall not influence or intimate the prosecution witnesses in any manner and not tamper with evidence.
- Petitioner shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him to disclose such facts to the court.
- Petitioner shall not leave the state of Kerala without prior permission of the jurisdictional court and surrender his passport to the same within three days of his release on bail. If he does not possess any passport, he shall file an affidavit to that effect in that court within that period.
- Petitioner shall appear before the investigating officer as and when directed in writing to do so.
- If the petitioner violates any of the conditions of bail, the Court having jurisdiction over the case is at liberty to cancel his bail without any further orders of this court but in accordance with law.
Learnings of the Case
From this case, we learn that anticipatory bail can be granted in cases falling under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 by the court after imposing certain conditions on the person seeking bail.