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“Having regard to the status which the applicant has, there is no likelihood of his fleeing from justice", the Court said.
On Thursday, the Allahabad High Court granted interim bail to a former Additional Standing Counsel for the Uttar Pradesh Government Shailendra Singh Chauhan, who has been accused of rape by a junior lawyer.
Justice Chandra Dhari Singh observed that the evidence against Chauhan was entirely based on documents. The Court also took on record Chauhan's lack of criminal antecedents and noted that he was a reputed Advocate practising before the Courts.
As such, the Court allowed the plea for interim bail, stating,
Justice Singh directed the accused not to leave the State without obtaining the prior permission of the High Court. Further, he was asked to make himself available as and when required by the Investigating Agency.
Senior Advocate Jyotindra Misra, Chauhan's counsel, vehemently opposed the charges made against Chauhan, stating that the complainant woman's story was concocted with the aim to humiliate Chauhan.
Additionally, no material was found on the site of the crime to support the woman's claim that he had mixed her alcohol in her fruit juice to rape her, it was contended. Senior Advocate Misra instead charged the woman with trying to blackmail Chauhan for his chambers at Vibhuti Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow.
The woman's counsel Advocate Aditya Vikram Shahi asserted that the accused could potentially influence the conduct of the investigation if he were allowed on bail.
However, the Court allowed Chauhan's application for interim anticipatory bail for the present after noting that the evidence against him was based entirely on documents.
Earlier, the High Court granted interim protection from arrest to Chauhan while hearing his plea seeking to quash the FIR registered against him.
After the survivor moved the Supreme Court against the decision, this order was stayed.
In addition to this, the woman had sought a CBI probe into the alleged offence against her. The Supreme Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh government to respond to the plea.
Chauhan has been accused of causing hurt by means of poison for the commission of an offence, sexual harassment and rape under Sections 328, 354A, and 376 of the Indian Penal Code.
The matter is expected to be taken up next on October 5.