HANZLA IQBAL VS. THE STATE & ANR. , Delhi HC As on 24 August 2022
BAIL APPLN. 1926/2022
Justice Jasmeet Singh made the observation while granting bail to a man accused in a rape case.
A person in a consensual physical relationship is not required to judicially scrutinise the date of birth of his partner, the Delhi High Court has said while granting bail to a man accused of “raping” his alleged minor partner who has “three different dates of birth” according to official documents.
The court said a person is not required to see the Aadhaar card or the PAN card or verify his partner’s date of birth from her school records before getting into a consensual physical relationship with her and granted relief to the accused who claimed that the prosecutrix was giving her dates of birth in accordance with her own convenience only to invoke the provisions of the child abuse law against him.
“The person, who is in a consensual physical relationship with another person, is not required to judicially scrutinise the date of birth of the other person. He is not required to see the Aadhaar card, the PAN card and verify the date of birth from her school records before he enters into a physical relationship.
“The very fact that there is an Aadhaar card and that the same shows the date of birth as 01.01.1998 is sufficient for the applicant to form an opinion that he was not indulging in a physical relationship with a minor,” Justice Jasmeet Singh said in the order dated August 24.
“As regards the date of birth, it seems the prosecutrix has three different dates of birth. The Aadhaar card shows her date of birth as 01.01.1998 and hence, on the date of the alleged incident, the prosecutrix was supposed to be a major,” the judge added.
Noting the transfers of “huge amounts of money” in favour of the prosecutrix, the court said prima facie, it seems to be a case of honey-trapping and no satisfactory reason was given for the “inordinate delay” in the registration of an FIR in April for the alleged incidents that took place in 2019 and 2021.
The court asked the police commissioner to ensure a detailed investigation with respect to the pendency of similar FIRs by the prosecutrix against others as well as to probe her Aadhaar card details.
“I am of the view that in the present case, there is much more than what meets the eye. As per the prosecutrix’s own showing and as stated in the FIR, she has had a relationship with the applicant from 2019. If the applicant had blackmailed the prosecutrix, there was nothing preventing her from approaching the police at an earlier stage,” the judge said.
“I am, prima facie, of the view that this also seems to be a case of such an incident (of honey-trapping). The commissioner of police shall have a detailed investigation as regards the prosecutrix, if any such similar FIR has been registered by the prosecutrix against any other person in Delhi. The police shall also investigate the Aadhaar card…and the date of issuance of the same and the supporting documents filed for the issuance of the said Aadhaar card,” he added.
The court directed that the accused be released on a personal bond with one local surety of Rs 20,000 and he should periodically report to the police station and appear before the court whenever the case is taken up for hearing.
It further asked the accused not to leave the country and to surrender his passport as well as not to indulge in any criminal activity or communicate with those related to the case.