Justice Vibha Kankanwadi was hearing a bail application of the accused who was Baba, Shankeshwar alias Shambhu Dhakne, and his disciple Sopan Dhakne of raping a minor girl, who lived with her father and the accused on the premises of a temple.
According to the prosecution, the girl filed a police report and an FIR was filed under the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, after the accused offended her modesty and raped her. Justice Kankanwadi granted bail to both accused based on the fact that the charge sheet had been filed, implying that the investigation was complete and that the applicants did not need to be held in custody as there was no evidence on record to prove the allegations.
During the hearing of the case, the bench came across a document that was styled as a ‘Danpatra’ on a stamp paper of Rs 100 in which the father of the victim had given the victim as kanyadan to the Baba. When the Court learned of the donation deed during the hearing it found out after much thought that the individual who filed the affidavit was not the same person mentioned in the charge sheet as the victim’s father. Given such document coming forward, (the Court) can’t shut the eyes, the Bombay High Court ruled. It also gave orders to the child welfare committee, Jalna to act expeditiously in this issue, in respect of the girl and whether she is fit to be declared as a child in need of protection.