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A 44-year-old man, accused of making pornographic video of his then wife and circulating it through Internet-enabled services, has been granted bail by a Delhi court which said no fruitful purpose will be served by his further incarceration.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass granted the relief to the Ahmedabad resident, arrested in September last year, after noting that the probe in the case was complete.
The case was lodged in March 2015 on the direction of the Supreme Court on a petition filed by Hyderabad-based NGO Prajwala which alleged sexual videographic material involving women was being disseminated indiscriminately to the public through Internet-enabled services.
"Considering in totality of the facts and circumstances in the case that the accused is in judicial custody since September 24 last year, investigation is complete, charge sheet has been filed, evidence is documentary in nature, the statements of witnesses have already been recorded, all these facts in my opinion leads to the conclusion that at this juncture no fruitful purpose would be served by further incarceration of the accused," the court said.
The accused was granted bail on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and one surety of the like amount.
The court, however, put several restrictions on the accused including that he will not leave the country without its prior permission and will not try to intimidate any person related to the case.
It granted the relief after noting that the CBI have not stated that any supplementary charge sheet shall be filed or the probe was still going on.
It also said "insofar as the accused being the primary uploader of the offending video, the same is also not made out in the given set of facts and circumstances".
"There is a documentary evidence contrary to the allegations made on record. Furthermore, the victim had not complained in any manner whatsoever about the alleged act till 2015. They were divorced in 2006," the court said.
In the bail plea filed through advocate Pradeep Rana, the accused claimed that he was falsely implicated and that the woman had not lodged any case against him for 11 years.
The CBI had opposed the bail application saying that if released on bail, the accused might intimidate or threaten the alleged victim as he was an influential person.
The court noted that the CBI had claimed in the FIR that the accused had raped the victim. However, after the investigation, the rape charge was not included, it said.
The probe agency had claimed that the man had prepared the video inspite of the victim's protest and it made her life miserable.
According to the prosecution, during the investigation, the victim was traced and she confirmed the incident and identified the accused as her ex-husband.
She said that the incident was of September 2006 and they got divorced in December 2006.
The accused was arrested in September last year and later a charge sheet was filed under sections 377 (unnatural offences), 292 (selling or distributing obscene material), 342 (wrongful confinement), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (insulting the modesty of a woman) of the IPC.