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Shall 'Drop-a-pin' on Google Maps for ascertaining location by IO, directs the Delhi High Court while granting interim bail

The Delhi High Court on April 22, 2020 {DHEERAJ MALHOTRA v. STATE} held that upon a conspectus of all facts and circumstances, inter-alia that the applicant is not the main accused; that allegations under the SCST Act were made subsequent to the filing of the first information ; and especially the prevailing public health emergency, factoring in the dire need of decongesting prisons ; and also that the offences with which the applicant is charged fall within the criteria spelt-out by the High Powered Committee at its meeting dated 28.03.2020 for interim bail, the court is persuaded to admit the applicant to interim bail for a period of 45 (forty-five) days from the date of his release.

It was, however, directed by the HC that the applicant shall make a video-call every Friday between 11 am and 11:30 am to the Investigating Officer, and in case the Investigating Officer is no longer in service or is otherwise unavailable, then to the SHO PS : Moti Nagar, Delhi and also ‘drop-a-pin’ on Google Maps, so that the IO/ SHO can verify the applicant’s presence and location.

In the present case, the FIR was registered under Sections 498A/ 406/377/354A/34 of the Indian Penal Code 1860, subsequently in statements recorded under sections 164 and 161 Cr.P.C., the complainant made certain additional allegations which amounted to casteist slur ; and which, as submitted by the prosecution before the HC, amounted to offences under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 (‘SCST Act’ for short). The charges were albeit not framed by the Trial Court, as of now, in the case in hand. 

In totality of circumstances, the application was disposed of by the HC by granting interim bail of 45 days to the petitioner in aforesaid terms.

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