The Delhi High Court has granted anticipatory bail in a rare case of a woman being booked under Section 377 (unnatural offences) of the Indian Penal Code, in addition to provisions of the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. [Dr. L v. State of Delhi].Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar granted her the pre-arrest bail on the ground that the woman had joined the police’s investigation. The order stated,"She is a working lady…Nothing is to be recovered from her, so no custodial interrogation is required. Co-accused who is stated to be the abettor has already been released on bail.".The petitioner was booked under Section 377 and Section 6 (aggravated penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO Act on the complaint of another woman, who alleged that the former had sexually assaulted her child on several occasions.The complainant claimed that her estranged husband was having an affair with the petitioner, who would visit her home frequently and the abuse the child in front of her husband.It also came on record that the child had been medically examined during the investigation process and recorded a statement according as per the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) where he corroborated the contents of the complaint. The abuse, it came on record, had been happening since the child was three years old..Counsel for the petitioner argued that the complainant’s husband, who was the co-accused in the case, had been granted anticipatory bail. It was also argued that the complainant had an apprehension that her husband and the petitioner had an affair as they worked at the same place. He therefore submitted that the complaint was filed “in order to take revenge against her husband” and stated that “she has used her minor child and filed the FIR after a gap of four years.”The petitioner was stated to have joined the investigation and sending her behind bars “would have served no purpose,” the lawyer said..The State through the prosecutor argued that the child was only six years old and could only reveal about the sexual assault in the month of September 2020. Thus, the FIR got delayed as a result. The prosecutor called the woman as the main accused in the case, terming the crime “serious and grave.”There was also an apprehension of the petitioner threatening the complainant and tampering with evidence, if she were to be granted anticipatory bail. The woman was stated to have not cooperated in the police investigation..The High Court, however, found that some of the medical papers placed on record indicating assault on the child survivor were not genuine. “So both these documents which have come from the custody of the complainant are not found to be genuine documents in regard to the injury allegedly given to the child by the petitioner. The complainant is well advised not to engage herself in such type of endeavours in future and at this stage, I am not taking any harsh view against the complainant for preparing such medical records,” the Court said.According to the Court, all the medical documents produced on record by the complainant did not support her theory..The Court thus granted the petitioner anticipatory bail, while directing her to not leave the country till the case’s pendency. She was ordered not to meet the child till the recording of the statement of the child. She was also directed not to visit the place of the complainant and to keep herself 3 kms away from her residence. “The accused/petitioner shall not visit the school and day care of the child,” the Court stated.In case of her arrest, she was ordered to be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with one surety in the like amount.“Nothing stated herein above shall tantamount to the expression of any opinion on the merits of this case,” clarified the Court.Advocate Naveen Kr. Raheja appeared for the petitioner whereas Advocate Manjeet Arya represented the State and Advocate Sunita Arora appeared for the survivor.