The Delhi High Court on Tuesday (3rd November) denied pre-arrest bail to Swami Ganeshanand in the case of Swami Ganeshanand v. State & Anr.
By: Megha Ravindran B.BA LL.B Nehru Academy of Law
Justice Prathiba M. Singh after hearing the anticipatory bail plea of Swami Ganeshanand who was accused of sexually harassing a 17-year-old girl, dismissed the petition.
Brief of the case
The petitioner who was a well-known yoga teacher had clicked photographs of the complainant and made obscene gestures towards her. This incident happened on 14th May 2020. Further, the petitioner abused her in filthy language. So she reported the incident on 14th June 2020. FIR No. 215/2020 under Sections 354-A and 509 of IPC and Section 12 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 was filed.
It was stated that regular threats are being extended to the victim and her family by the petitioner. She also submitted several other FIRs have also been lodged against the petitioner by women in the neighborhood, and he is a habitual offender.
The Petitioner had absconded at the time of arrest and thereafter preferred two anticipatory bail petitions before the Ld. ASJ.
Observation of the court
The Court remarked that “Thus, there are at least three complaints against the Petitioner where women have made allegations of abusive and inappropriate conduct. Considering that there are a number of criminal cases which have been filed against the Petitioner, his absconding is a matter of utmost seriousness.”
The court further observed that “The Petitioner is stated to be a Yoga teacher who has some influence in society. Moreover, while this Court had granted interim protection, the Complainant continued to submit before this Court that regular threats are being extended to her and her family by the Petitioner.”
Justice Prathiba M. Singh observed “Though, after the filing of this petition, he is stated to have cooperated in the investigation, the fact that he had initially absconded and the further fact that there are repeated allegations being made against him by women, residing in the same neighborhood, are essential to be considered. In the present case, the investigation has not yet concluded and the Petitioner does have the propensity to influence the investigation.”
The Court rejected the Anticipatory Bail and directed the petitioner to surrender immediately before the authorities.