The Allahabad High Court on Friday restrained the Police from arresting a government counsel in connection to a rape case lodged against him by a young lawyer.
While hearing the government counsel's plea for quashing of FIR, the Division Bench of Justices AR Masoodi and Rajeev Singh at Lucknow said,
"Looking to the contents of the F.I.R., prima facie, we are satisfied that a case for intervention is made out to the extent that the petitioner(accused) may not be arrested…"
Additional Chief Standing Counsel in the Lucknow bench of the High Court, Shailendra Singh Chauhan, has been accused of sexual harassment by a young practicing lawyer from Delhi. She has alleged that Chauhan raped her in his chamber.
Accordingly, an FIR has been lodged at the Vibhuti Khand Police Station in Gomti Nagar area, under Sections 328 (Causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence), 354A (Sexual harassment) and 376 (Rape) of IPC.
Chauahn had approached the High Court stating that the allegations leveled against him were false and therefore, the FIR registered against him ought to be quashed.
Though the court refused to quash the proceedings instantly, it has granted interim relief from arrest to Chauhan. Meanwhile, without expressing much on the merits of the case, the Court has granted time to the Complainant's lawyer to file a reply in the matter.
Further, Chauhan has been instructed not to indulge into any activity subjecting the complainant to any intimidation or causing any threat to her life or property.
During the course of hearing, the bench was informed that though the complainant's statement under Section 164 CrPC had been recorded by the trial court, complete instructions in the matter were awaited. Further, some relevant material was left at Chauhan's chamber (alleged place of offence) and an application had been moved by the IO for taking possession, which was pending.
In view of these submissions, the High Court has directed the concerned trial court to pass necessary orders on the pending application so that the investigating agency may assume possession of the relevant material which may have a bearing upon the case.
"As an abundant caution, we provide that an appropriate order to this effect may be passed so that there is no tampering with the evidence of the case," the order states.
The matter will now be considered on August 27, 2020.
[With PTI Inputs]
Case Title: Shailendra Singh Chauhan v. State of UP & Ors.
Case No.: Misc. Bench No. 12149/2020
Quorum: Justice AR Masoodi and Justice Rajeev Singh
Appearance: Advocates Lalit Kishore Pandey and Sushil Kumar Singh (for Petitioner); Govt Advocate Aditya Vikram Shahi (for Respondents)