The Bench was hearing the petition filed by the accused against an Order passed by the Rajasthan High Court on August 16, denying anticipatory bail to him for charges of offences of gang rape, kidnapping a woman to compel her for marriage and extortion.
WHILE protecting a rape accused from arrest recently, the Supreme Court directed him to surrender his mobile phone to the police.
The police would take a colour copy of the messages on the phone along with a certificate underSection 65B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1871.
A certificate under Section 65B is submitted in a court in India for the purpose of producing electronic or digital evidence in a case.
A Bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and S.V.N. Bhatti said that it was passing the Order because the accused petitioner claimed that the prosecutrix was more than eighteen years of age, and the relationship and marriage was with her consent.
The Bench also directed the accused, one Jasa Ram, to join and cooperate with the investigation, including by surrendering his mobile phone.
The Bench was hearing the petition filed by the accused against an Order passed by the Rajasthan High Court on August 16, denying anticipatory bail to him for charges of offences underSections 376D (punishment for gang rape),366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing a woman to compel her for marriage) and384 (punishment for extortion) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
On May 3, 2023, the prosecutrix lodged an FIR against the petitioner and co-accused persons stating that on April 13, 2023, when she went to the field to ease herself, she was abducted by the the petitioner and co-accused in a vehicle and thereafter, was taken to a hotel where she was subjected to sexual assault–rape by the petitioner.
As per the FIR, the prosecutrix was compelled to solemnise a marriage with the present petitioner at an Arya Samaj Mandir.
The petitioner contended before the high court that he had been falsely implicated in the case. He also drew the attention of the high court to various Whatsapp chats between the petitioner and the prosecutrix, and photographs of them together, to submit that the prosecutrix voluntarily eloped with the petitioner.
It was further argued by the petitioner that while the prosecutrix was on the run with him, out of her free will and volition, she solemnised marriage with him.
It was also argued that the prosecutrix, in order to tie nuptial knot with the petitioner, also brought with her original documents, i.e., X and XII class marksheets, aadhar card, etc., but under pressure from her family members, she falsely filed criminal charges against the petitioner later.