[Sexual Assault On Minor] High Court Rejects Suspended Delhi Govt Officer Premoday Khakha & Wife's Default Bail Plea

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Khakha allegedly raped the minor several times and impregnated her. Khakha's wife, Seema Rani allegedly gave medicine to the minor to terminate the pregnancy. The couple has been arrested & are currently in Judicial Custody

The Delhi High Court on Monday rejected the suspended Delhi government’s Women and Child Development Department Officer, Premoday Khakha, and his wife Seema Rani's plea seeking statutory (default) bail. 

The bench of Justice Jyoti Singh rejected the couple's plea after noting that there was "no infirmity" in the trial court order and a substantial investigation was done by the police before filing the charge sheet within the stipulated time.

"The charge sheet was filed on October 11, 2023. Cognizance was taken by the trial court on November 8, 2023. Undoubtedly, a substantial investigation has been completed. The court finds no infirmity in the trial court order refusing default bail,” the court said.

Premoday Khakha and his wife Seema Rani Khakha had moved the court seeking statutory bail on the ground that the Delhi Police could not complete the investigation in the stipulated time.

Premoday Khakha allegedly raped the girl several times between November 2020 and January 2021. She was staying at the residence of the accused, a family friend, after her father passed away on October 1, 2020, the police said. The minor was allegedly impregnated, and Khakha’s wife, Seema Rani (an accused in the case), gave medicine to her to terminate the pregnancy.

The couple was arrested on Monday, i.e., August 2, 2023, after the victim recorded her statement before a magistrate at a hospital.

Accordingly, a case was registered under provisions of the POCSO Act and Indian Penal Code sections 376(2)(f) (being a relative, guardian, or teacher of, or a person in a position of trust or authority towards, the woman, commits rape on such woman) and 509 (word, gesture, or act intended to outrage the modesty of a woman).

IPC Sections 506 (criminal intimidation), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 313 (causing miscarriage without woman's consent), and 120B (criminal conspiracy) were also invoked in the case.

Notably, the high court, on August 28, 2023, took suo moto cognizance of the matter. 

Case Title: Seema Rani Khakha v. State (Govt. of NCT Delhi) (another connected matter)