To get bail for ‘outraging the modesty’ of a woman, HC orders accused to give victim a sweet box and have her tie a Rakhi band on him

In a first-of-its-kind bail condition, the Madhya Pradesh High Court on July 30 directed a person accused of  “outraging the modesty” of his woman neighbour, to visit the house of the victim with a box of sweets and request her to tie a Rakhi band on him with the promise to protect her to the best of his ability for all times to come.

The High Court also directed the accused to tender Rs.11,000/- (Rs. Eleven Thousand Only) to the victim as a customary ritual usually offered by the brothers to sisters on such occasion.
It also directed the accused to seek the blessings of the victim and also tender Rs.5,000/- to the son of the victim for purchase of clothes and sweet.

The Court was hearing a plea for regular bail by accused Vikrum who was in custody since June 2, 2020, in connection with an FIR against him at Police Station Bhatpachlana, District-Ujjain for the offence punishable under sections 452 ( House-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrong­ful restraint), 354(A) (Sexual harassment and punishment for sexual harassment), 354 (Assault of criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 506  (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

As per the police’s version, the accused had entered the house of the complainant and caught hold of the hand of the complainant attempting to outrage her modesty.
In his defence, the accused told the court that he had asked the husband of the complainant to return back the outstanding loan amount against him, which was advanced by him during the lockdown period. The complainant’s husband, according to the accused, had taken exception to the demand and as a sequel to it, filed the false case against him.

After hearing both the parties, Justice Rohit Arya held that the accused was entitled to the bail as he had already suffered jail incarceration for more than two months and was no more required for further custodial interrogation.

The Court, however, put certain conditions for the bail which apart from as indicated above, also included a direction to the accused person to install the Aarigya Setu App on his mobile phone and to follow all instructions issued by the Government of India and the State Government from time to time on physical distancing, hygiene, etc., to prevent the spread of Covid19.