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HC rejects bail application of Pantha Chowk rape accused

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Srinagar: In the 2021 Pantha Chowk rape incident wherein the victim had been abducted from a Moharram Procession at night, the High Court Tuesday rejected the bail application of the accused belonging to a well-to-do family.

Justice Javed Iqbal Wani after hearing the petition of the accused Mubarak Ali Wani son of Mohd Amin Wani of Balhama dismissed it on the basis of certain premises established by the Supreme Court of India.

According to the details submitted by the prosecution, the victim “X” on evening of 20th of August 2021 along with her mother went to attend the Moharam (AlamSharief) procession in Pantha Chowk. Due to a huge gatherings and rush of the people she got separated from her mother in the dark of the evening.

Taking advantage of the darkness, she was kidnapped by Mubarak Ali and Majid Ahmad Sofi son of GhMohd Sofi both residing at Balhama. X   was taken to an unknown place. She was forced to drink some liquid that rendered her unconscious and thereafter rape was committed upon her.

Next morning on regaining consciousness, she saw her clothes stained with blood. She ran to her friend’s home. Her parents also came to the place after being informed. She later narrated the whole incident at Police Station Panthachowk, reveal the prosecution details.

Following the registration of case, medical examination of the victim was conducted; samples thereof sent to FSL for expert opinion and her statement was recorded before a magistrate under Section 164 Cr.PC.

“The victim is 15 years of age (minor) and upon completion of the investigation, offences under Section 363, 376 IPC and Sections 3/4 of the POCSO Act were found to have been made out against the accused persons besides offences under Section 363 IPC and Section 17 of POCSO the Act were found to have been made against the accused Mubarak Ali”, stated the prosecution.

A charge sheet is stated to have been filed before the Fast track court POCSO cases Srinagar.

The case setup by the accused petitioner claims that the prosecution case does not disclose the commission of offence either under IPC or POCSO Act against him.

“The investigation conducted is not in accordance with law and norms and involvement of the petitioner is not proved beyond any shadow of doubt. The evidence does not connect the petitioner with the commission of alleged offence”, he petitioned before the court through his lawyer.

‘The petitioner (accused) is not required for custodial investigation and that charge sheet has been laid before the competent court and that accused petitioner is a young student belonging to a well-to-do family and his detention will harm and destroy his career and enlarging him on bail will not cause any prejudice to the trial”, the lawyer said.

The lawyer representing the state in his objections said the charge sheet reflects in clear terms the involvement of the accused persons in the commission of offences of rape.

The offences are grave and heinous in nature and that the victim is 15 years old (minor). The trial is yet to commence and witnesses yet to appear in the witness box, as such, application is liable to be dismissed, he pleaded.

Delivering his verdict Justice Javid Iqbal found that the question of liberty raised by the counsel for the petitioner and judgments referred in support thereof “pales into insignificance”.

He accordingly dismissed the accused person’s petition for bail.

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