The Gauhati High Court rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Indian Youth Congress (IYC) president Srinivas BV in connection with the allegations of harassment levelled by Angkita Dutta.
Angkita Dutta, the former president of Assam Youth Congress was expelled from the party for anti-party activities on April 22.
Hearing the pre-arrest bail petition of Srinivas BV, Justice Ajit Borthakur said in his order that – “…….consideration of the various pleas taken by the petitioner and the documents he filed, this Court is of the opinion that it is not a fit case to grant the privilege of pre-arrest bail to the petitioner. Accordingly, the pre-arrest bail application of the petitioner stands rejected.”
According to the order copy, the petition was filed under Section 438 Cr.P.C, for granting the privilege of pre-arrest bail to the petitioner, namely Srinivas B.V. apprehending arrest in connection with Dispur Police Station Case No. 692/2023 under Sections 509/294/341/352/354/354A (iv)/506 of the IPC read with Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (for short ‘I.T. Act’).
The case was registered at Dispur Police Station against Srinivas BV following the complaint lodged by Dr Angkita Dutta, former president of Assam Youth Congress.
“The First Information Report (FIR) reveals the allegations that the informant/victim, is the former President of the Assam Youth Congress and the present petitioner is the President of the Indian Youth Congress. It has been alleged that the petitioner has been persistently harassing the informant/victim woman mentally by way of sexist and slang words and also threatening her with dire consequences if she complained the same before the high office bearers of the Youth Congress. It is further alleged that when the alleged victim went to Raipur in the state of Chhattisgarh to attend the plenary session of the Congress Party held on 25.02.2023, she was received by one Bhupen Bora, the President of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) at Mayfair Hotel and met other high office bearers of the Congress party. At the entrance of the hotel when she came across the petitioner, he heckled her by holding her arms and also threatened her by using slang words. It is also alleged that despite complaining about the persistent unwarranted conduct of the petitioner on several occasions to the high office bearers of the Congress Party, her complaint did not yield any result and as such, she lodged the instant FIR,” said in the order copy.
According to K.N. Choudhury, learned Sr. Counsel appearing for the petitioner, the FIR has been lodged with an ulterior motive to malign the reputation of the petitioner and to avoid any litigation for making defamatory statements made by the informant on social media against him.
“Opposing the pre-arrest bail application, M. Phukan learned Public Prosecutor, submits that the petitioner had filed two pre-arrest bail applications before the learned Sessions Court in Bengaluru, Karnataka and both the said petitions have been rejected after appreciating the materials on the case diary. Phukan further submits that the petitioner was given the notice under Section 41A Cr.P.C. calling upon him to appear before the Officer-in-Charge of Dispur P.S. on 02.05.2023 at 11 a.m. However, Phukan submits, the petitioner has not complied with the said notice to avoid his apprehension of being arrested in connection with the aforesaid non-bailable offence under Section 354 of the IPC as per Section 41A(3) Cr.P.C. Phukan submits that the victim, in her statements recorded under Sections 161 and 164 Cr.P.C., has implicated the petitioner with the alleged offences,” it read.
“Phukan submits, that the alleged offences, as a whole, being related to outraging the modesty of the informant woman, the privilege of pre-arrest bail may not be granted in favour of the petitioner. A perusal of the statements of the victim woman under Sections 161 and 164 Cr.P.C., it is revealed that she has implicated the petitioner with the alleged offences. The alleged victim is aged about 35 years as it appears from the order, dated 21.04.2023, passed by the learned Addl. Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup (M) at Guwahati in the said case, who recorded the statement of the victim under Section 164 Cr.P.C. after giving her a period of two hours for reflection and thereafter, on being satisfied that she deposed voluntarily and without being under any pressure or influence from any side,” said in the order copy.
The order copy also stated that the FIR appears to have been registered on 20.04.2023 after a preliminary enquiry was done by a Police Officer and the investigation is at its nascent stage.
“For the above-stated reasons as well as consideration of the various pleas taken by the petitioner and the documents he filed, this Court is of the opinion that it is not a fit case to grant the privilege of pre-arrest bail to the petitioner. Accordingly, the pre-arrest bail application of the petitioner stands rejected. Return the case diary. This disposes of the anticipatory bail application,” said in the order copy.
On the other hand, Crl. Pet. No. 377/2023 under Section 482 Cr.P.C. filed by Srinivas BV praying, inter-alia, for quashing of the above-noted case has been dismissed vide Judgment and Order, dated 04.05.2023.
This report is filed by ANI news service.