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Delhi court grants bail to 77-yr-old man accused of sexual harassment

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New Delhi, June 18 (Ajit Weekly News) A Delhi court has granted bail to a 77-year-old man, who was accused of sexual harassment, after finding that there is ‘no valid reason to impose any restrictions upon the liberty of the accused at his advance age’.

A vacation bench of Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana also noted that there was a delay of about one month in registration of the FIR by the investigating officer (IO).

The judge also observed that neither in the FIR nor in the recorded statements, there is any mention of commission of offence under Section 354B of the IPC (assault or use of criminal force with any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty).

“From the complaint itself, it appears that there was also some money dispute between the parties. Be that as it may, no palpable explanation has been furnished by the IO as to why she seeks custodial interrogation of the applicant/accused,” the bench said.

The applicant, Madan Lal, argued that he is about 77 years old and the police is trying to implicate him in a false and frivolous case. He submitted that the IO was constantly harassing him and was threatening that he will be implicated in a rape case.

It was submitted that the accused is not a flight risk and subjecting him to custodial interrogation at this advance age shall tantamount to an unlawful inference with the sacrosanct principle of presumption of innocence.

“It is thus prayed that the accused deserves anticipatory bail,” the plea noted.

On the other hand, the public prosecutor vehemently opposed the bail application, arguing that the allegations against the applicant were serious in nature.

It was submitted that the applicant not only molested the victim, but even sexually assaulted her daughter. It was also submitted that the applicant extorted money from the victim and her daughter on the pretext of medically treating them.

The accused does not deserve anticipatory bail in wake of the seriousness of the allegations against him, the public prosecutor noted.

Considering the totality of circumstances, the court said it do not find any valid reason to impose any restrictions on the septuagenarian and allowed him bail on Rs 20,000 with one surety in the like amount.

–Ajit Weekly News

jw/arm

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