Supreme Court grants bail to rape-accused who claimed family of interfaith, live-in partner foisted fake case

The Court noted that the couple had entered into a live-in relationship agreement, and had also filed a joint petition for police protection as an interfaith couple

The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted bail to a man accused of kidnapping and raping his live-in partner after he counter-alleged that the case against him was a fake one filed at the behest of his partner’s family. [Imamudin vs State of Rajasthan]

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia noted that the man and woman had entered into a live-in relationship agreement, and had also filed a joint petition for police protection as an interfaith couple.

The Court also noted that the petitioner had been behind bars for nine months, before allowing the bail plea.

Three factors weigh with us. The live-in relationship agreement of 25.8.2022, the parties filing a joint petition for police protection specially as an interfaith couple and the petitioner has already been in custody for about nine months,” the Court’s order stated.

The petitioner, a 22-year-old Muslim man (petitioner), had entered into a live-in relationship with an 18-year-old Hindu woman on August 25, 2022. As per his petition, the two were close friends for five years before they developed a romantic relationship.

The petitioner claimed that a day after the couple eloped, the woman’s father filed a missing report. On the same day, the couple filed a joint petition for police protection before the Rajasthan High Court.

Two days later, the woman’s father is stated to have lodged a first information report (FIR) against the petitioner, alleging kidnapping and rape.

On August 30, 2022, the Rajasthan High Court, as an interim measure, directed the State government to grant police protection to the couple. However, allegedly, on the day of the hearing, the woman’s family took her away.

On the next day of the hearing, the plea for protection was dismissed as no one appeared for the couple.

Subsequently, on October 31, 2022, the petitioner was arrested in connection with the FIR filed by his partner’s father.

He was charged under Sections 366, 376, 384, 323, 328, and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), as well as Sections 3 and 4 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

He then filed a court application for bail. After his plea was rejected, he approached the Rajasthan High Court, which also denied his bail application. Aggrieved, he moved the Supreme Court

Before the Supreme Court, the petitioner highlighted that the woman’s statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) made it clear that the relationship between them was a consensual one. Therefore, the allegations of rape were false, he told the Court.

He also produced a live-in relationship agreement executed by him and the woman.

He contended that the High Court failed to consider these facts before rejecting his bail application.

He further highlighted that even after he spent five months in jail, the prosecution had failed to bring material on record to prove that he was guilty.

The Court, after considering the facts it noted in its order, proceeded to grant bail to the petitioner.

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