The Kerala High Court recently denied bail to a mother who allegedly facilitated the rape of her minor daughter by the stepfather.
Justice P Gopinath observed that the allegation against the petitioner-mother appeared to be serious and an insult to motherhood if proved to be true.
He further took note of the apprehension raised by the Public Prosecutor that if the petitioner is granted bail, there is every chance of the minor survivor being influenced or intimidated to give evidence in favor of the accused in this case.
“I am of the view that the petitioner is clearly not entitled to anticipatory bail. The allegations against the petitioner are very serious and if true they are an insult to motherhood,” observed the High Court.
As per the prosecution case, during the period from 2018 to 2023, the stepfather had, with the consent and knowledge of the petitioner, indulged in conversations of a sexual nature with the minor girl.
It was further alleged that the minor survivor was forced by her mother to send her nude pictures to the stepfather via mobile phone.
The stepfather also committed penetrative sexual assault as well as rape on the minor survivor continuously in a rented house, the prosecution added.
She was also subjected to rape at Hotel Casteilo in Coimbatore with the consent and connivance of the mother.
The petitioner-mother was charged with offences punishable under Sections 376 (2) (n), 376 (3) (rape) of the Indian Penal Code and various provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) and Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act.
Justice Gopinath said that the petitioner if granted bail, could influence the survivor since she is the biological mother of the girl.
"The apprehension expressed by the learned Public Prosecutor appears to be real. The petitioner being the biological mother of the minor victim may be in a position to influence or intimidate the victim if she is granted bail,” said the High Court.
Further taking note of the prosecution’s allegation that the minor-survivor was subjected to rape in the presence of the petitioner, Justice Gopinath dismissed the bail application.
The petitioner-mother was represented by advocates TK Sandeep, Veena Harikumar and Swetha R.
The State was represented by Public Prosecutor Noushad KA.