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Business News/ News / India/  HC grants bail to man accused of raping US woman, suspends 7-year sentence
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HC grants bail to man accused of raping US woman, suspends 7-year sentence

In 2013, Delhi resident Rajiv Panwar allegedly sexually assaulted the US national who was staying as a tenant in his house in South Delhi with her husband
  • Panwar challenged the trial court's verdict in the high court which, on July 5, granted him bail on furnishing a personal bond of ₹25,000
  • Upset with the high court's order, the woman shot a video in front of the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, alleging she was denied any help there.Premium
    Upset with the high court's order, the woman shot a video in front of the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, alleging she was denied any help there.

    New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has granted bail to a man accused of digitally raping an American woman and suspended the seven-year sentence awarded to him by a trial court. Upset with the high court's order, the woman shot a video in front of the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, alleging she was denied any help there.

    “Accordingly, in view of the aforesaid submissions, discussions and circumstances as well as the fact that the fine amount has already been deposited and that the disposal of the appeal may take some time, the substantive sentence of the appellant is suspended during the pendency of the appeal and the appellant be released, if not required in any other case, subject to his furnishing a personal bond in the sum of Rs.25,000/-, with one surety of the like amount, to the satisfaction of the Trial Court," the high court order read.

    "The prayer of the complainant/prosecutrix to allow her to be impleaded in the present appeal is untenable in law and is, accordingly, rejected. However, the complainant/prosecutrix has a right of audience and hearing. Accordingly, the complainant/prosecutrix would be heard and granted permission to intervene and assist the APP and this Court within the legal parameters during the course of the hearing of the present appeal." It further added.

    In the video, the woman said, "Last month I was notified that the man who viciously attacked me, who I had to fight to make sure he was convicted of his crime and he was sentenced in India, has been given bail on his appeal." She gave details of the alleged incident of 2013 and said "you don't give bail to convicted criminals that are sentenced".

    "I come here to the San Francisco consulate, where I need to have these forms notarised so that (Delhi) high court knows who my attorney is and I am on board, and I am again denied service and assistance from the consulate in India, now San Francisco they tell me now that I need to go and get it notarised locally then have to go to Sacramento and get the notary verified," she said in the video.

    The woman complained of "corruption" in India and "lack of support to women" who are attacked. "They refuse to help me yet they say that they want to stop the violence against women in their own country," she alleged.

    “Our deepest sympathies and our support are with you. As you know, all attestations were provided on the same day (Tuesday) after you spoke to the Consulate officials and we waived the requirement of the Hague Convention that requires apostilling of legal documents. We hope that you obtain the justice you seek and deserve at the earliest," said the Consulate General of India, San Fransisco, said in a comment on Facebook.

    In 2013, Delhi resident Rajiv Panwar allegedly sexually assaulted the US national who was staying as a tenant in his house in South Delhi with her husband. She filed a complaint against him in June 2013 and Panwar was convicted of rape by a trial court here in February 2019. He was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment. When someone rapes a person using their finger it is termed as digital rape.

    Panwar challenged the trial court's verdict in the high court which, on July 5, granted him bail on furnishing a personal bond of 25,000. The court said as the disposal of the appeal may take some time, the substantive sentence of the appellant is suspended during the pendency of the plea.

    Justice Chander Shekhar of the high court said the man has spent over five months in custody. The court said it finds force in the contention of the woman's counsel and directed that the man shall not leave the NCR without its permission.

    It also directed Panwar not to contact or get in touch with the complainant in any manner. If he does, she or the prosecution may move an appropriate application for the passing of necessary orders in this regard.

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    Published: 04 Aug 2019, 03:54 PM IST
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