New Delhi: A Delhi court has granted bail to a man arrested for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl, noting that there was a delay of one day in reporting the matter to the police and the probe was already complete in the case.

Additional Sessions Judge Raj Rani granted bail to accused Puran Singh Bisht on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with one surety of the like amount, on contentions that he will permanently shift 15-20 km away from the place where the victim is residing.

The applicant is in judicial custody since January 27, 2021 and charge sheet has already been filed. There is a delay of one day in reporting the matter to the police.

In view of the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case, the applicant is admitted to bail on furnishing of bail bonds in a sum of Rs 20,000 with one surety in the like amount, the judge said.

Thirty-four-year-old Bisht was arrested on January 26 under Sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 (penetrative sexual assault) of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act.

During the hearing on Bisht’s bail application, the counsel for the accused submitted that his client and the family of the victim reside in the same building.

In 2019, the father of the victim took a loan of Rs 1.20 lakh from Bisht.

Applicant had requested several times to the father of the victim to return the same but he always delayed the repayment of the loan, Advocate Prateek Mehta, representing Bisht, told the court.

According to Mehta, when the applicant demanded his money from the father of the girl on January 26, he started quarrelling and threatened him and falsely implicated the accused in the case.

The counsel further said that there are material contradictions in the statements of the girl recorded during the investigation, which falsified the version of the victim.

He also alluded to the statement of their landlord and submitted that she did not know anything about the incident.

Advocate Mehta requested the court to grant bail to his client as the chargesheet has already been filed and trial will take a long time due to restricted functioning of the courts.

The applicant is the sole bread earner of his family and in the current situation of Covid 19, the presence of the applicant is required to take care of his family, he pleaded the court.

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The counsel further submitted that the accused was ready to permanently shift away from the house, at least 15 -20 kilometres from that area where the family of girl is residing as a tenant.

Additional Public Prosecutor A B Asthna opposed the bail application on the ground that there are serious allegations against the accused under the IPC and the POCSO.

The judge granted the accused bail on conditions that he will not visit or reside in the vicinity of the victim.

The court also directed him to not contact the victim and her family members in any manner, not intimidate or influence the prosecution witnesses or tamper with the evidence.

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