Recently, the Karnataka High Court refused to grant bail to a rape accused, stating that wish to attempt any competitive exam and delay in trial proceedings considering the COVID-19 situation are not valid grounds to grant bail.
The bail petition was heard by a single-judge bench of Justice Shivashankar Amarannavar, The High Court further stated that the nature of the crime allegedly committed by the accused was serious and punishable with life imprisonment, in such case, bail could not be granted to attend a competitive examination.
The case of the prosecution was that the victim reported on March 29 2019, that a person by the name of Holiyappa was harassing her and asked her to sleep with him for money. The accused used to call her when she was home alone, then the victim told everything to her mother and her mother asked the accused to stop doing these things. On March 28 2019, around 8.30 pm the victim was followed by the accused and then he ambushed and took her to the school grounds. Even though the victim opposed him still he forcefully committed the offence. However, learned counsel appearing for the accused submitted that it was consensual sex between the accused and the married victim.
High Court said that "the petitioner is a graduate having BA.B-Ed degree and he has applied for the selection of FDC by competitive examinations, which is scheduled to be held shortly is not a ground to grant bail. The delay in the trial due to pandemic and SOP is also not a ground for grant of bail. The offence alleged is a serious offence punishable with imprisonment for life. Considering all these aspects, the petitioner has not made a new ground for grant of bail".
The High Court also said that if the concerned authorities of jail permit the accused to appear for the examination, he would be free to appear. It was also contended by the accused that bail should be granted due to the situation that occurred due to coronavirus pandemic, he implied that under these circumstances the trial proceedings might be delayed.
The prosecution opposed the prayer sought by the accused and sought rejection of the bail petition. After considering the submissions of both the parties the High Court proceeded with rejecting the bail application and provided reasoning that the offence for which the accused was arrested is serious and heinous, therefore, bail could not be granted.