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District court backed victim, denied bail to Unnao accused

According to the order passed by the Raebareli court on October 25 that denied him bail, Shivam Trivedi had argued that the woman was his “legally wedded wife” and hence he was entitled to bail. Marital rape is not a crime under Indian law.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 09, 2019, 08.53 AM IST
Unnao rape victim's last rites being performed at her village on Sunday
NEW DELHI: The sessions court in Rae Bareli had denied anticipatory bail and later bail to Shivam Trivedi, the main accused in the Unnao rape victim’s murder, observing that the woman had stood by her allegations in the confessional statement she made before a magistrate.

This was before the Allahabad High Court granted bail to Trivedi on November 25. Ten days later, he along with a few others, allegedly attacked the woman and set her on fire.

ET has accessed the three court orders — two of the sessions court and the one granting bail by the HC. According to the order passed by the Rae Bareli court on October 25 that denied him bail, Trivedi had argued that the woman was his “legally wedded wife” and hence he was entitled to bail. Marital rape is not a crime under Indian law.

“The case diary shows that the victim has reiterated the allegations in her FIR during her statement to the police under Section 161 CRPC and stood by the same fully in her Section 164 statement (before a magistrate). She has alleged gang-rape and making of a video of the same. Hence the accused is not entitled to bail,” judge Ravindra Vikram Singh of the Rae Bareli court said in his order.

Trivedi was arrested by the police on September 19, over six months after a case was registered by the police on March 5 upon the orders of the Rae Bareli court. He had moved for anticipatory bail in August, pleading that his “image could be spoilt by an arrest” and that the victim was a major who had agreed to consensual relations. Another judge of the Rae Bareli court, Anoop Kumar Goel who had taken up this plea, denied him anticipatory bail on August 14, citing a Supreme Court order and terming the grounds cited by him as “inadequate and unsatisfactory” given the seriousness of the offence.

The Allahabad HC gave him relief on November 25 after he had spent a little over two months in jail, while referring to the point that the alleged rape had happened two years before the FIR was lodged and that the victim, who was about 23 years of age, had not complained at the time.

The Uttar Pradesh government’s advocate general had opposed the bail, and argued that Trivedi had raped the woman by giving her false promise of marriage.

“Considering the rival submissions of learned counsel for parties, material available on record as well as totality of fact and circumstances, and without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, I am of the view that the applicant is entitled to be released on bail,” HC judge Rajeev Singh said in his order.

The high court had spelt out three main conditions for Trivedi, that he should not try to influence witnesses or tamper with evidence, should cooperate in expeditious disposal of the case and remain present on the dates of hearing of the case. He stepped out of jail a few days later.

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