The Gauhati High Court has cancelled the interim anticipatory bail granted to renowned innovator and Padma Shri awardee Uddhab Kumar Bharali for alleged sexual abuse of a minor girl he was fostering, noting his custodial interrogation was “essential”.
Bharali, on the other hand, claimed he is a victim of a conspiracy, which he will fight legally.
He said he will surrender before a local court in Lakhimpur district, on January 21.
Hearing the anticipatory bail petition by Bharali, Justice Hitesh Kumar Sarma, on January 20, cancelled the interim anticipatory bail granted to the innovator on December 28 last year by a vacation bench.“…the petitioner is found not entitled to the grant of privilege of pre-arrest bail.
Accordingly, his prayer stands rejected. The interim protection granted to the petitioner, vide order dated 28.12.2021, stands vacated. The anticipatory bail application stands disposed of accordingly,” the order said.
After hearing the arguments of the counsel for the petitioner and the state, Justice Sarma noted that custodial interrogation of Bharali is “essential” for the purpose of investigation of the case in view of the allegations made in the FIR as well as the statements by the victim and witnesses.
“This court would like to mention here that so far the statement of the victim and other witnesses are concerned, the statements recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure weighed more in deciding this application, the same being recorded by a competent magistrate, on oath,” he added.
The anticipatory bail plea was filed by Bharali, credited with nearly 150 innovations, on December 23 after an FIR was registered at North Lakhimpur police station under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
A day after the order, the recipient of numerous national and international recognition on Friday said he will surrender before the Lakhimpur Chief Judicial Magistrate during the day.
“I am a victim of a conspiracy. As my bail plea was rejected, I have no other option but to surrender. I will go and present myself in front of the CJM today,” Bharali told reporters.
Justice Sarma, while delivering the order on Friday, relied on the case diary and statements of the minor victim as well as two other minor witnesses, who “categorically stated that the petitioner had committed sexual intercourse not only with the victim girl but also with some others, who were also under foster care of the petitioner”. (PTI)