After remaining for more than three months behind bars, an 84-year-old man accused of rape will finally walk out of jail after a DNA test declared that he is not the father of a child born of a minor girl he was said to have abused sexually.
On Monday, a bench, headed by Justice Sanjay K Kaul, ordered the octogenarian’s release on bail upon receipt of the DNA report from the West Bengal police that confirmed the child born in July was not his.
"The DNA report does not show that the appellant is the father of the child born. In view of the aforesaid, we have no hesitation in saying that the appellant should be enlarged on bail on the terms and conditions to the satisfaction of the Trial Court," said the bench.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the accused in the case, also demanded a compensation. He contended that it was a landlord-tenant dispute which was used by the girl and her father to implicate his client in the false case of rape.
At this, the bench said it would be open for the octogenarian to take necessary steps in accordance with law claiming compensation. Last month, the court had sought the DNA report to ascertain paternity of the girl child, who was born on July 5.
Booked under the POCSO Act, the accused had maintained that his advance age is itself a proof in medical science that he is incapable of sexual intercourse. He called himself impotent and sterile.
But the report, submitted by police officers in the top court, had then held there is nothing to establish the accused is incapable of sexual activities.
Sibal had then said his client was willing to undergo any medical examination, including DNA and paternity tests, to prove his innocence.
The senior counsel stressed that the test should be done as soon as possible since his client is in jail since May 12, and that his health has been deteriorating. In June, the Calcutta High Court had dismissed the bail plea, considering the gravity of the crime.
The accused had claimed the 14-year-old girl and her family are tenants, and had disputes over payment of rent because of which the false charges were slapped against him.