Delhi HC denies bail to school teacher accused of raping his student
The Delhi High Court has denied bail to a school teacher who is accused of repeatedly raping a female student. The court emphasized that the forensic evidence strongly supports the allegations against the man, and there is no reason to doubt the victim's statement. The DNA analysis revealed that the man's DNA matches the DNA found on certain items related to the girl's sample collected during the investigation. Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani questioned why the DNA matches if the interaction between the man and the student was only that of a teacher and student.
Additionally, the prosecution presented CCTV footage showing the man and the student entering a hotel room together. The court highlighted that there is currently no explanation that refutes the evidence seen in the footage. The court acknowledged that when considering a bail plea, no final conclusions are made, but in this case, the allegations require substantial answers before they can be dismissed. Considering the social standing of the man compared to the victim and the overall circumstances, the court expressed concern that the man might influence witnesses, evade justice, or attempt to prejudice the trial if released on bail.
According to the prosecution, the man and the girl were familiar with each other as he was her school teacher and also provided her with private tuition. The girl alleged that the man repeatedly raped her, including instances when she was underage. The girl claimed to have reached the age of majority in January 2022, and the last incident of sexual assault occurred in June of that year. The girl's counsel argued that the man was significantly older than the victim and even had a daughter who was younger than her. Exploiting his position of trust as her teacher, he allegedly manipulated and coerced her into the acts, despite attempting to portray the situation as consensual.
In response, the man's lawyer argued that their sexual encounters were consensual and questioned the credibility of the girl's account. The lawyer stated that the man has been in judicial custody since June 27, 2022, and has a clean record with no prior criminal involvement. The defense contended that keeping him in custody serves no purpose. However, the high court dismissed the bail plea, emphasizing that due to the teacher-student relationship, if the alleged offenses are proven during the trial, they assume an aggravated and egregious nature. This is in accordance with the specific provisions under Section 376(2)(f) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 5(f) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act. These charges, if substantiated, make the offense of rape even more severe.