A B.Tech student at IIT Guwahati accused of having committed rape on a fellow student, was recently granted bail by the Gauhati High Court despite the Court noting that there was a clear prima facie case against the accused (Utsav Kadam vs. State of Assam).
Justice Ajit Borthakur reasoned that the accused is a talented, young student and a future asset to the State while also stating that he is unlikely to influence witnesses or tamper with evidence.
"On hearing the counsel for both sides with reference to the relevant documents such as FIR, medical report and statements under Sections 161 and 164 CrPC, the contents of the charge-sheet, the Fact-Finding Committee report etc., there is a clear prima facie case as alleged against the accused petitioner," the Court observed.
However, as the investigation in the case is complete and both the informant/victim girl and the accused are the State’s future assets being talented students pursuing technical courses at the IIT Guwahati, and are young in the age group of 19 to 21 years and hail from two different States, continued detention of the accused may not be necessary, the Court held.
"A perusal of the list of witnesses too, cited in the charge-sheet, this Court finds no possibility of the accused tampering with their evidence or influencing them directly or indirectly, if released on bail," the Court added while granting bail to the accused.
As per the first information report (FIR), on the evening of March 28, the accused lured the victim to the premises of Aksara School under the garb of discussing her responsibility as the Joint Secretary of the Finance and Economic Club of the college. Following this, he forcibly administered alcohol to her and raped her after she fell unconscious.
Senior Advocate KN Choudhury appearing for the accused, argued that since the investigation was already complete, there was no scope for the accused to jump the course of justice.
It was further contended that continuation of his detention for the purpose of trial would amount to causing further damage to his brilliant academic pursuits.
On the other hand, both Additional Public Prosecutor D Das and Advocate S Sarma, appearing for the victim vehemently opposed the bail application.
Das asserted that there was a clear case in favour of the victim and enlarging the accused on bail would certainly hamper the trial and cause gross injustice to the victim.
The counsel for the victim stated that the offence was serious in nature and one that was against society as a whole.
However, on consideration of the facts and circumstances, the Court did not find the detention of the accused necessary observing that there was no possibility for the accused to tamper with the evidence or influence witnesses directly or indirectly.
Thus, Justice Ajit Borthakur allowed the bail application while imposing the following conditions:
“i) That the accused/petitioner shall continue to appear before the learned trial Court, on all dates to be fixed from time to time, till the case is disposed of;
ii) That the accused/petitioner shall not directly or indirectly make any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Police Officer or the Court.; and
iii) That the accused/petitioner shall not leave the territorial jurisdiction of the Court of learned Sessions Judge, Kamrup at Amingaon without prior written permission of the learned Sessions Judge, Kamrup at Amingaon.”