While granting bail to a rape accused, Delhi High Court noted that a person in a consensual physical relationship is not required to judicially scrutinise the date of birth of his partner. The man is accused of raping his alleged minor partner who has three different dates of birth as per her official documents.
“The person, who is in a consensual physical relationship with another person, is not required to judicially scrutinise the date of birth of the other person. He is not required to see the Aadhaar card, the PAN card and verify the date of birth from her school records before he enters into a physical relationship,” Justice Jasmeet Singh stated.
The accused claimed that the prosecutrix gave her dates of birth in accordance with her own convenience only to invoke the provisions of the POCSO Act on him.
The bench said that the very fact that there is an Aadhaar card and that the same shows the date of birth as 01.01.1998 is sufficient for the applicant to form an opinion that he was not indulging in a physical relationship with a minor.
Justice Singh added, “As regards the date of birth, it seems the prosecutrix has three different dates of birth. The Aadhaar card shows her date of birth as 01.01.1998 and hence, on the date of the alleged incident, the prosecutrix was supposed to be a major.”
Considering the transfers of huge amounts of money in favour of the prosecutrix, the bench prima facie considered it a case of honey-trapping. The bench also took note of the fact that no satisfactory reason was given for the inordinate delay in the registration of an FIR in April for the alleged incidents that took place in 2019 and 2021.
The court has directed the Police Commissioner to initiate a detailed investigation pertaining to the similar FIRs by the prosecutrix against others and has also directed to probe the Aadhaar Card details.
Justice Singh said, “I am of the view that in the present case, there is much more than what meets the eye. As per the prosecutrix’s own showing and as stated in the FIR, she has had a relationship with the applicant from 2019. If the applicant had blackmailed the prosecutrix, there was nothing preventing her from approaching the police at an earlier stage.”
He added, “I am, prima facie, of the view that this also seems to be a case of such an incident (of honey-trapping). The commissioner of police shall have a detailed investigation as regards the prosecutrix, if any such similar FIR has been registered by the prosecutrix against any other person in Delhi. The police shall also investigate the Aadhaar card… and the date of issuance of the same and the supporting documents filed for the issuance of the said Aadhaar card.”
The bench granted him bail on a personal bond with one local surety of ₹ 20,000 and asked him to report to the police station periodically and whenever required to. The court has also asked the accused to surrender his passport.