Man accused of molesting DCW Chief Swati Maliwal granted bail


New Delhi: A court here on Saturday granted bail to a man accused of molesting and dragging DCW chief Swati Maliwal, saying it will be unfair to subject the accused to a premature trial at the present stage. Maliwal had on Thursday alleged that she was molested by a drunk man while she was on an inspection at night, and dragged by his car for 10-15 metres outside the AIIMS here with her hand stuck in the vehicle’s window.

The Kotla Mubarakpur police station registered an FIR and arrested the accused Harish Chander (47), who was subsequently remanded in judicial custody. ‘…I am of the view that no useful purpose will be served by keeping the accused behind the bars. Accordingly, accused Harish Chander is admitted to bail subject to furnishing bail bond of Rs 50,000 with one surety of the like amount,” Metropolitan Magistrate Sanghmitra said.

Other conditions of the bail include Chander not committing a similar offence, not tampering with evidence, joining investigation as and when required, providing his address and phone number, and not contacting, meeting or threatening the complainant, her family members and other witnesses, directly or indirectly, the court said.

Also Read: DCW chief molestation case: ‘Swati Maliwal’s drama exposed…’, says BJP, claims accused is an AAP member

“No doubt that the nature of accusations is serious and is a relevant consideration at this stage of deciding the application of bail, however, it is not the only test or factor to be considered. It is the basic principal of criminal law that the accused is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty and it would be impermissible for the court, at this stage, while deciding the bail application, to subject the accused to a pre mature trial,” the court said.

Police said an FIR was registered against Chander under IPC sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 341 (wrongful restraint), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman), and section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act.

The court said all offences attracted imprisonment of less than seven years and that except section 354 of IPC, all offences are bailable in nature. “During arguments, this court has specifically asked the investigating officer regarding the need of any custodial interrogation of the accused for the purpose of investigation to which she has replied in the negative and the accused has no previous involvement in any other offence,” the court said.

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