A division bench comprising of Justice SS Shinde and Justice VG Bisht Bombay High Court rejected a quashing petition last month. Explicitly, the petition was for the quashing of an FIR. The FIR stated sexual assault and criminal intimidation against the accused. To elaborate, the victim alleged that the accused forced her to get an abortion, at gunpoint. Allegedly, the accused committed sexual assault on her multiple times under the pretext of marrying her. While, also lying about his marital status. The accused owns a restaurant in Mumbai.
Contentions of the Police
Earlier, in February, the victim filed an affidavit stating “as per the advice of their elders” both the accused and victim have decided to mutually settle the dispute and move on in their lives for a better future and a better career. Advocate Vishal Kanade appeared on behalf of the petitioner-accused and Dr.Abhinav Chandrachud for the victim. APP SD Shinde appeared on behalf of the State. APP Shinde opposed the plea for quashing of the FIR on the ground that the offences against the accused are serious and heinous in nature. He submitted that the stated offences not restricted to the individuals but also have an impact on society.
High Court’s Decision
The Bombay High Court relied on the precedent set in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab & Anr; a judgement by the Supreme Court. Notably, the Bombay High Court concluded that the FIR and the chargesheet cannot be quashed on various grounds. Firstly, the petitioner is already married. Secondly, he committed sexual assault on various occasions on the pretext of marrying the victim. Thirdly, forceful abortion at the gunpoint by the petitioner. Fourthly, promising employment to the respondent in the film industry.
The High Court opined that the alleged offences are not individual in nature. Agreeing with APP Shinde, the Court said that the outcome of present proceedings will have an impact on society. Conclusively, the High Court ordered that the accusations made by the victim in the FIR must be tested during the trial.