Child abuse case: Alleged accused Lukbi Bojir granted bail as police fails to provide credible evidence

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 1 Jul: The district & sessions court in Bomdila (West Kameng) on Thursday granted bail to the alleged accused in a child abuse case, Lukbi Bojir, after the court found that another juvenile, who used to work as a domestic help at Bojir’s home, admitted to have committed the crime.

Bojir had been arrested on 17 June and was remanded to judicial custody in Seppa (East Kameng). Earlier, on 14 June, the court had rejected his anticipatory bail plea.

The defence counsel in his bail petition informed the court that Bojir had upon investigation revealed to the police that it was the worker  who actually committed sexual assault on the victim.

Bojir in his statement to the police claimed that both the victim and the worker  stayed in the same room in his house and there was suspicion over the conduct of the male worker. It was later revealed that he had sexually assaulted the victim and when scolded, he went missing. Later on, he was recovered and handed over to his parents.

The juvenile has been arrested by the police, and during interrogation, he admitted to have committed the offence in 2019. He has been handed over to the Juvenile Justice Board in Seppa.

Meanwhile, objecting to Bojir’s bail petition, special public prosecutor (PP) A Lamnio in his submission stated that if the accused is enlarged on bail at this stage, there is possibility of tampering of evidence.

The special PP further pointed out that “the provision of Section 75 of the JJ Act is bailable and non-bailable offence; however, the case of the accused falls under category of non-bailable offence.”

He said, “Since, there is a case of physical and sexual assault, the offence of Section 363 IPC is well established against the accused, besides various other offences. Therefore, the prayer for enlarging the accused on bail may be rejected at this stage to enable the police to further investigate as the statement of the victim is yet to be recorded.”

Appearing on behalf of the victim, counsel L Norbu also appealed to the court not to grant bail to Bojir, saying that “the accused is an influential person and the victim is very poor.”

After hearing both parties, Bomdila District & Sessions Court Judge Tageng Padoh in his order observed, “After careful hearing of the parties and perusal of the objection petition, I find that the charges of sexual offence under POCSO and Section 376 IPC, it seems that the juvenile has committed the offence and the prosecution has failed in making the case against the accused Lukbi Bojir at this stage as the statement of the victim is yet to be recorded. As such, the presumption u/s 29 of the act cannot be held against the present accused without having certain minimum incriminating facts against the accused. The principle of presumption must be done basing on certain facts but not on imaginary. The anticipatory bail appeal was rejected by this court on 14.06.2021, mostly relying upon the medical evidence of sexual assault against the victim. The IO has failed to communicate with the attending doctor about the status of the victim to give statement at this stage or not, but he has relied on the old certificate issued by the attending doctor. As such, it is seen that the IO has not put an effort to obtain recent status of the victim and endeavoured to record the statement of the victim.

“It is also observed that in the previous CD and present objection bail petition, the prosecution has not shown any documents to attract a prima facie case u/s 326 IPC although charges have been registered under Section 326 IPC.

“It is appears from the record that the victim was handed over to the accused for purpose of her study but unfortunately she became the victim of offence u/s 75 of JJ Act and Bonded Labour Act. Now, the victim is under care of her parents for medical treatment. As the other accused has admitted to commit the offence of sexual assault, I am of the opinion that the release of the accused shall not likely to hamper the investigation and also influence the victim’s family as they are living in different districts. I do not find any sufficient grounds of the prosecution that the accused is likely to influence the evidence. In view of the above observation, I am inclined to enlarge the accused on bail this stage under following terms and conditions: The accused shall furnish a bail bond security of Rs 10,000 in cash and one local sound surety to execute surety bond of Rs 50, 000. The accused shall not tamper the evidences of the case. He shall appear before the IO as and when called forth and shall not commit similar offence while on bail. The accused shall also not communicate with principal accused while on bail in any means. He shall also not communicate with the victim or her relatives in any form or meet the victim pending trial of the case,” the order read.