Irked over the ‘Bhaiya is Back’ posters celebrating the bail of a rape accused, Supreme court came down heavily on the defence counsel.
The bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Hima Kohli was hearing a plea filed by the victim challenging Madhya Pradesh High Court bail order.
“What are you celebrating after the bail? This says there was a hoarding which says ‘bhaiya is back’. What is this hoarding about?” Justice Hima Kohli said.
To which the defence counsel replied that posters were put during local body elections.
“There’s a hoarding, what is this Bhaiya Back? On what occasion you put the hoarding?” CJI asked.
The counsel submitted that the hoardings were probably placed after the accused got bail.
“Ask your bhaiya to be careful this one week,” CJI Ramana said.
The Supreme Court has issued a notice and has sought the Madhya Pradesh government’s response on the petition. The matter has been posted to next Monday.
A woman had filed a rape complaint in Jabalpur Mahil Police station in June 2021. She had filed a complaint against Shubhang Gontia accusing him of repeatedly raping her on the context of marriage and forcing her to abort a child.
Shubhang is a student union (ABVP) leader and allegedly fled after a complaint was filed against him. The police has announced a reward of Rs 5,000 on him.
Madhya Pradesh High Court had granted him bail in November 2021.
The information about the ‘Bhaiya is Back’ banners were given by the victim in her plea before the top court. The counsel appearing for the petitioner argued that High Court had granted bail after mere 45 days of judicial custody without considering any relevant factors including criminal antecedents of the accused and influential family background.
The bench was considering an SLP regarding the cancellation of bail to the accused. The accused has been charged under the offences punishable under Section 376 (2) (n) and Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code. He was arrested on September 29, 2021.
The victim had alleged that he committed sexual intercourse with her over the period of three years.
Madhya Pradesh granted him bail while stating that this is not a case where the accused should be kept in custody throughout the whole trial.
He was granted bail on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 1,00,000 and on a condition secure his presence whenever required.
In the High Court, the accused had argued that he is innocent and both of them agreed to indulge in physical intimacy. He further added that the girl is a major and mature girl who had knowledge of all the consequences. He also alleged that the girl and her father were planning to extort money from him. He also cited the delay of over six months in filing the complaint.