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Allahabad High Court cancels bail to advocate who harassed woman judge

08:09 PM Mar 21, 2023 IST | India Legal
allahabad high court cancels bail to advocate who harassed woman judge

The Allahabad High Court has cancelled bail granted to advocate Abhay Pratap, who harassed the Metropolitan Magistrate of Kanpur Nagar during her posting in Maharajganj by writing objectionable messages on Facebook and continuously sending messages.

A single-judge bench of Justice Siddhartha passed this order while hearing a Criminal Misc Bail cancellation Application filed by the woman Metropolitan Magistrate.

The bail cancellation application has been filed by the applicant praying for cancellation of bail granted to the accused-opposite party no 2, Abhay Pratap, in Case under Sections 186, 228, 352, 353, 354, 354-D, 506, 509 IPC and Section 67 I.T Act, Police Station Kotwali, District- Maharajganj by the court of Sessions Judge, Maharajganj, in Bail Application, Abhay Pratap Vs State of U.P on 17.12.2022 wrongly relying upon the judgement of Apex Court in the case of Satendra Kumar Antil Vs C.B.I & Another, passed in S.L.P(Crl), judgement dated 11.7.2022.


The applicant is posted as Metropolitan Magistrate, Kanpur Nagar at present. At the time of the incident in question, she was posted as Civil Judge (Junior Division)/Judicial Magistrate in District Court, Maharajganj. While she was performing her judicial duty, Abhay Pratap, who is also a practicing Advocate in the same court, started sending obnoxious messages and casting certain remarks through messages on the Facebook account of the applicant.

On noticing the messages, the applicant blocked him from sending messages. Thereafter, Pratap got the official mobile number of the applicant and started sending messages on the same. He used to come to her court without any work and gaze at her continuously. When the limit to tolerance was crossed by the advocate, the applicant lodged the FIR against him at the police station Kotwali Maharajganj, on 11.11.2022 and also sent a representation to this Court through District Judge, Maharajganj, on 11.11.2022. The advocate was never connected to the applicant on Facebook or through any media platform nor his friend request was ever accepted by the applicant.


Opposite party no 2 started sending messages to the applicant w.e.f 29.9.2021 and thereafter he sent various messages to her, which were never replied by the applicant.


On 17.7.2022 at about 1:58 a.m he sent message, “I love you…”, then again he sent, “Is janam me nahi to agle janam me tujhe pane ki koshish prayas karta rahunga aur ho sake to sato janam.”


Fed up with the conduct of the opposite party no 2, applicant blocked the opposite party no 2 on facebook account on 17.7.2022. On her CUG mobile number, he sent the message on 8.11.2022 at 4:31 a.m, “Good Morning” and then “I love you Baby”. The opposite party no 2 was arrested on 23.11.2022 and the Sessions Judge granted him bail on 17.12.2022 relying upon the case Satendra Kumar Antil (Supra).

The applicant has appeared in person in Court and submitted that she is a Judicial Officer and was posted as Civil Judge (Junior Division), in District Court, Maharajganj, when the opposite party no 2 indulged in the undesirable and objectionable behaviour against her. She was not in a position to concentrate on her work and was apprehensive towards her security. She was distracted from discharge of her judicial duties freely and was in constant fear of maligning of her reputation by the opposite party no 2. Her marriage was settled and these messages could have destroyed her marital life in future and may have affected her prospective marital life. The opposite party no 2 is setting up a dangerous trend and should be dealt with severely and bail granted to him should be cancelled.


She has further submitted that the reliance of the Sessions Judge on the judgment of Satendra Kumar Antil (supra) in the bail order is not correct since the charge-sheet was not filed against the opposite party no 2, when he was granted bail on 17.12.2022.

The Sessions Judge has stated that the charge-sheet against the opposite party no 2 is ready. It was not filed till then. All the offences against the opposite party no 2 are not bailable in nature. She has submitted that the findings of the Sessions Judge that the charge-sheet against the opposite party no 2 is ready is incorrect.

By means of rejoinder affidavit dated 15.2.2023 applicant has brought on record the questionnaire issued by the court of Judicial Magistrate, Maharajganj, which shows that charge-sheet was not filed in the Case till 17.12.2022 nor cognizance was taken thereon till that date.

She has submitted that the benefit of the judgment of Satendra Kumar Antil (supra) of the Apex Court has wrongly been extended to the applicant since he was arrested prior to the submission of the charge-sheet by the Investigating Officer.

Counsel for opposite party no 2 has submitted that opposite party no 2 is seeking unconditional apology from the applicant since he has highest regard for the law of the land and every member of the judicial fraternity.

He has stated that he may be pardoned for any act which has hurt the position, respect, feelings or emotions of the applicant. He has undertaken not to repeat the misdeeds committed by him earlier.

He has further submitted that all the offences alleged are punishable upto seven years and he has not violated any condition of bail granted to him.

AGA has submitted that from the mobile phone of the opposite party no 2 recovered by the Investigating Officer, it was found that the aforesaid phone was used in the commission of the alleged crime against the applicant by the opposite party no 2.

After hearing the rival contentions, the Court found that the Sessions Judge has neither considered the correct, legal and factual position of the case while granting bail to the opposite party no 2 nor has applied mind to the future repercussions of granting bail to an accused involved in committing such offences against a female Presiding Officer of a Court of Law.

The Court said,

It is clear from the record that the charge-sheet was not submitted against the opposite party no 2, when he was granted bail by the Sessions Judge, Maharajganj, relying upon the judgment of Apex Court in the case of Satendra Kumar Antil (supra).

The investigation was in progress when the opposite party no 2 was put behind bars on 23.11.2022 and sent to jail. It may be true that all the offences against opposite party no.2 are punishable with terms of imprisonment below 7 years, but all offences are not bailable. At least two of the alleged offences punishable under Sections 353 and 354 IPC are non bailable.

It is not a case where bail should have been granted on a matter of right. Normally lenient views in matters of bail pending trial are taken where offences are punishable with terms below 7 years. The facts of this case are different from ordinary courses. There is a case where a Judicial Officer/ Presiding Officer of a court of law has been harassed on the basis of gender. Onerous conduct on the part of opposite party no 2, who is no other than a very responsible officer of the court, was expected. The impact of the conduct attributed to opposite party no 2 is such that it will have deleterious effect on the functioning of the judicial system at the grass root level. It ought to have been considered by the Sessions Judge in that context. This has not been done.

The Court is of the view that given aforesaid circumstances and the fact that Investigation was under progress, grant of bail to opposite party no 2 cannot be countenanced. Hence bail granted by the court below to opposite party no 2 is hereby cancelled by the High Court. The opposite party no 2 is directed to surrender forthwith before the court concerned.

The High Court directed the trial court to conclude the trial against opposite party no 2, within six months.

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