The Allahabad High Court on July 31 granted interim protection from arrest to Government’s counsel Shailendra Singh Chauhan in an alleged rape case against him by a junior lawyer.
The Lucknow bench of the court, however, directed the accused to cooperate with the investigating officer in the probe and make himself available as and when called.
It also directed the accused to not indulge in any activity that can subject the complainant to any intimidation or cause any threat to her life or property.
A bench of justices A R Masoodi and Rajeev Singh passed the order on a writ petition filed by the accused seeking quashing of the FIR against him. The FIR registers a case under Sections 328 (Causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence), 354(A) (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), and 376 (Punishment for Rape) of the Indian Penal Code. The FIR was filed at Vibhuti Khand police station in Gomti Nagar district of Lucknow.
The Additional Government Advocate (AGA) informed the Court that the rape survivor has recorded her statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). He requested that he needed time to get its details from the investigating officer.
It was also pointed out by the AGA that the contents of the FIR reflect that some relevant material was left at the place of occurrence i.e. chamber of the accused. He, therefore, requested the court that such material may also be taken into custody by the investigating agency as the accused’s chamber is sealed. AGA added that the possession of the said material has not been taken over and for this purpose, an application has been filed by the Investigating Officer before the competent court, which is still pending.
To this, the High Court directed the competent court to pass necessary orders on the pending application so that the investigating agency may assume possession of the relevant material, which may have a bearing upon the case.
The court, as an abundant caution, also asked that an appropriate order to this effect may be passed so that there is no tampering with the evidence of the case.
The court also allowed the request of the victim for a week’s time to file a counter-affidavit. The matter is now listed for August 27