Bombay HC Grants Bail to Rape Accused; Questions Feasibility of Crime at Crowded Beach on Eid

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Bombay HC Grants Bail to Rape Accused; Questions Feasibility of Crime at Crowded Beach on Eid

In a significant development, the Bombay High Court has granted bail to a man accused of rape, expressing skepticism about the plausibility of the alleged crime occurring at a crowded beach in Mumbai on Eid and during daylight hours.

Justice Prithviraj K Chavan observed that the charge against the accused under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act) was unlikely to hold, considering the victim’s age at the time of the incident.

“The circumstances surrounding the alleged offense raise doubts regarding its occurrence in broad daylight at a crowded location like Juhu Chowpatty on the day of Eid. It is improbable that such an act would take place under these circumstances,” noted the Court in its March 22 order.

The Court granted bail to the accused, who had been in custody since June 2021, citing the absence of a charge framing by the trial court and the prolonged detention of the accused.

The accused faced charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including rape, outraging modesty of women, stalking, and criminal intimidation, along with a provision of sexual assault under the POCSO Act.

The prosecution alleged that the accused, a watchman, had forcibly raped the victim at Juhu Chowpatty after stalking her. However, the defense argued that the victim was an adult at the time of the incident, and their relationship had initially been consensual.

Following a detailed examination of the case, the Court granted bail to the accused, considering the peculiar circumstances and the delay in the legal proceedings.

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Advocates representing the accused presented arguments based on the victim’s age and the nature of their relationship, leading to the Court’s decision to grant bail.

This development highlights the importance of thorough examination and scrutiny of evidence in legal proceedings concerning sexual offenses.

Case Title: Baharul Islam Mujibur Rehman v. State of Maharashtra and Anr

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