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The Bombay High Court has recently granted bail to a man accused of raping a woman at the behest of her husband working in the Merchant Navy.

A single-judge bench of Justice Prakash D Naik observed that it was not clear as to when did the accused establish a physical relationship with the woman as the act was allegedly done at the prompting of the husband. Therefore, the court granted bail to the accused man.

The above observations were made during the hearing of a bail application for offenses punishable under Sections 376(D), 377, and 120-B r/w Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 66 (E) of Information Technology Act 2000. The FIR in the matter was lodged on 23rd February 2019, while the applicant was reportedly arrested on 18th June 2019.

Background of the Case

The complainant (Woman) was married to one Vishal Hiremath (working in Merchant Navy) in 2009. Since 2015, the complainant and her husband were separately residing at Borivali. The complainant alleged that when her husband had returned from the ship, one couple visited their house and all of them had consumed liquor. She alleged that the friend of her husband (applicant in the matter) sexually assaulted her and on the next day, the complainant’s husband informed her that he had recorded the video of the act and he had called that person for having sex with her.

It has been alleged that a similar incident had occurred thereafter wherein her husband called one person at home and he was asked to establish a physical relationship with the complainant. The woman further stated that her husband threatened her that objectionable video would be made viral if she refuses to act as per his wishes.

Court observations

The court observed that dates of the first and second incidents had not been mentioned in the FIR and that the alleged incidents occurred in 2015 and thereafter in 2016 and 2018, however, the FIR was lodged on 23rd February 2019.

It was observed that although the applicant had been identified, it was not clear as to in which incident he was involved and the complaint was lodged belatedly.

“Prima facie it appears that Section 376 may not be attracted against the applicant.  Since the trial is pending, giving such a finding is not warranted. The applicant is in custody for a period of about one and a half years. Hence, the case for grant of bail is made out,” asserted the court.

Further, the bench observed “Although the applicant has been identified, it is not clear as to in which incident he is involved. The complaint was lodged belatedly. Prima facie it appears that Section 376 may not be attracted against the applicant. Since the trial is pending, giving such a finding is not warranted. The applicant is in custody for a period of about one-and-a-half years. Hence, a case for grant of bail is made out.”


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