The Delhi High Court recently refused to grant anticipatory bail to a woman who allegedly threatened a man with false rape allegations with a view to extort money from him. Single-judge Justice Subramonium Prasad also observed that a reading of the first information report (FIR) showed that it was a case of 'honey-trap'.
The court said-"A reading of the FIR shows that this is a case of honey trap. The allegation against the petitioner is that she has threatened the complainant and demanded money. Material on record also shows that only when the complainant had filed the instant FIR, did the woman file a complaint under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against him."
The Court further noted that investigation was at a very nascent stage and that the woman was accused of an offence under Section 328 (causing hurt by means of poison with intent to commit an offence) of the IPC for allegedly attempting to poison the respondent, Rishab Jain. The woman had filed a plea for the grant of anticipatory bail after an FIR came to be registered against her for offences under Sections 328 and 389 (putting person in fear of accusation of offence, in order to commit extortion) of the IPC.
The complainant, Rishab Jain had alleged that he was invited to the accused's house by her boyfriend. He was then offered a drink by the woman following which he became unconscious. Shortly after, he woke up to find the woman touching him inappropriately. As per Jain, the accused woman along with her boyfriend demanded a mobile phone, TV and Rs. 2 lakh in cash, failing which they threatened to lodge a false rape case. Jain then lodged a complaint with the police.
The Court in its judgment highlighted the necessary, well-settled parameters for the grant of anticipatory bail including: One,The nature and gravity of the accusation and the exact role of the accused ; Secondly,The antecedents of the applicant including the fact as to whether the accused has previously undergone imprisonment on conviction by a court in respect of any cognizable offence. Thirdly,The possibility of the applicant to flee from justice;Fourthly, The possibility of the accused's repeating similar or other offences; And lastly the court has also to take into account reasonable apprehension of tampering of the witness or apprehension of threat to the complainant.
The Court also cautioned that a balance must be struck between follwoing two factors while granting anticipatory bail: One, that there should be no prejudice caused to the free, fair and full investigation; Second, there should be prevention of harassment, humiliation and unjustified detention of the accused. In the instant, the Court opined that a perusal of FIR suggested that it was a case of honey trap. Finally, the Court also noted that there was a strong possibility of the accused lady fleeing from justice and not cooperating with the investigation. "In view of the above, this Court feels that this is not a fit case where the petitioner should be granted bail in the event of arrest," the Court said while dismissing the petition.