Sacked Delhi minister Sandeep Kumar, arrested on rape charges, was today granted bail by a Delhi court which said prima facie the evidence showed he abused his official position.
The court, however, held it cannot be said that the only inference that can be drawn from the material on record was that Kumar has raped the woman.
Special judge Poonam Chaudhry enlarged the Aam Aadmi Party MLA on bail on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs one lakh and surety of a like amount.
The court directed Kumar, who was arrested on September 3 and was in custody since then, to deposit his passport and not to leave the country without its permission.
It asked him neither to tamper the prosecution evidence nor to contact the complainant.
The court further said the material relied by the prosecution can only lead to an inference that Kumar had committed the offences by ‘abusing his official positions and transmitting the obscene material in electronic form’.
‘They are to be tested in the trial. Most importantly it cannot be said that the only inference that can be drawn from the said material is that accused has committed offence of rape,’ it said.
The court noted that Kumar was available for interrogation and investigation from the date of registration of FIR and incriminating material has already been recovered from him.
‘Moreover, applicant/accused is a sitting member of the Delhi legislative assembly, there is no chance of his fleeing from justice... The basic rule being bail and not jail, Kumar is admitted to bail,’ the court said.
The court said it was a matter of trial whether it was a consensual act or a passive submission due to fear of blackmailing.
Kumar had sought bail on the ground that probe in the case was over and his custodial interrogation was no longer required.
The police had opposed his bail plea saying he was an influential person and could scuttle the investigation.
It had contended that the victim lived in the same constituency which Kumar represented and if he was released from jail, he might tamper with the evidence.
Kumar sought relief saying he has been in custody for two months and his conduct since the lodging of first information report was good and ‘unquestionable’ and he had himself surrendered before the police.
Kumar was arrested after the woman had lodged a complaint at Sultanpuri police station in North Delhi alleging sexual harassment by the former social welfare and women and child development minister, following which a case was filed.
She had allegedly figured in an objectionable video with him.
The MLA from Sultanpur Majra was sacked from AAP government and the party on August 31 after the CD surfaced. He had defended himself saying he had been targeted.