KOCHI: The Ernakulam District Sessions Court has denied anticipatory bail to a senior civil police officer who is facing rape charges. Suresh N P (50), a resident of South Vazhakkulam, had filed the anticipatory bail petition in connection with a case registered by the Cheranallore police in April this year.
He was charged under IPC sections relating to a police officer committing rape within the limits of the police station to which he is appointed [376(2)(a)], police officer raping the same woman repeatedly [376(2)(n)], voluntarily causing hurt (323), wrongful restraint (321), use of obscene words [294(b)], and criminal intimidation (506).
The sexual abuse survivor, a divorcee living with her daughter in a rented house in Kochi, befriended the accused through social media. On April 10, 2019, Suresh reached the survivor’s house and indulged in forcible sex, which was not resisted by her. Later, the police officer contacted her and continued the relationship.
The survivor later realised that Suresh was married and had two children. The woman also claimed that she gave Suresh Rs 1.5 lakh to start a business, the police said. The prosecution argued that granting bail to a police officer who commits an act of sexual atrocity against women shall send a wrong message. The counsel for the accused referred to a Kerala High Court order on a bail application filed in 2016 when the woman had an affair with another person.
In response, the court observed: “The previous character of the victim should not be discussed here and each case shall have to be fought on its own merits. Previous bad character, which is not at all relevant in this case, cannot be ground as to why anticipatory bail should be given in favour of the accused.”
The court maintained that the record originally speaks of an instance when she was subjected to forcible sex without her consent. Similarly, weightage has to be given to apprehension raised by the police about winning over the prime witnesses by intimidation as the accused is a police officer.