NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court granted anticipatory bail on Monday to a Goa-based man, who is the accused in a rape case lodged in Delhi last year.
A vacation bench of justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer, which heard the matter on the day of Holi, said petitioner Jude Lobo has made out a "prima facie case" for the grant of anticipatory bail.
The apex court is on Holi break this week.
The top court was hearing a petition filed by the accused against a March 26 order of the Delhi High Court, which rejected his anticipatory bail plea in the case.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Lobo, told the court that the petitioner owns a restaurant in Goa.
He referred to the WhatsApp chat record of December last year between the petitioner and the alleged victim.
"We are satisfied that the petitioner has made out a prima facie case for grant of anticipatory bail.
We direct that in event the petitioner is arrested, he shall be released on submitting a personal bond of Rs 10,000.
The petitioner shall cooperate with the investigation," the bench said in its order.
"We have perused the first information report as well as the statement recorded by the prosecutrix under section 164 CrPC," it said, adding, "The petitioner is permitted to implead the complainant as respondent no.2.Amended memo be filed today itself. Issue notice." The top court noted that the petitioner is an accused in an FIR registered at the Bhajanpura police station here under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 376 (rape).
It noted that an application for anticipatory bail was filed before the trial court, which had, on February 27, granted interim protection to the petitioner that he shall not be arrested.
Subsequently, the anticipatory bail plea was dismissed by the trial court on March 22, after which the petitioner had moved the high court.