Less than 24 hrs after arrest, police release molester on bail

Notwithstanding the recent amendments made in the law to act tough with those who outrage the modesty of a woman, the Chandigarh Police released an accused on bail a less than 24 hours after he was arrested on charges of abduction and molestation.

Bunty, a 22-year-old, was booked and arrested by the Chandigarh Police on Monday for abducting and molesting a 12-year-old girl, both residents of Ambedkar Colony, Sector 56. Tuesday morning Bunty was released on bail. Reason: the Chandigarh Police exercised its discretion to grant bail to the accused, booked for bailable offences (abduction and molestation).

Thanks to the generosity shown by the Chandigarh Police, minutes after his release Bunty allegedly went to the minor's residence and threatened her with dire consequences. The magnanimity shown by the Chandigarh Police has left the public prosecutor bemused. For, he feels that not only the accused should have been released on bail but relevant sections under Protection of Children against Sexual Offences act (POCSO) should have been added against the accused that are non-bailable.

Surprised that Bunty was 'let off easily', public prosecutor, Advocate Phool Singh said, "Sections under the POCSO Act should have been added according to the victim's statement. In the instant case where the victim is a minor, it is surprising that the accused was granted bail by the Chandigarh Police."

Justifying the release, inspector Gurmukh Singh, said, "According to the victim's statement, Bunty had only verbally asked the minor to sleep with him and then asked her to go to Ghaziabad where he was supposed to meet her. The minor did not say that accused threatened her or lured her. The accused was booked under section 363 and 354-A of the Indian Penal Code. According to her statements, no offence was made out under the POCSO Act."

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