The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday gave an unconditional regular bail to Vikas Barala in the high profile Varnika Kundu case. The order was pronounced by Justice Lisa Ray after hearing the counsels for the complainant in the case Varnika Kundu and the petitioner Vikas.

 

Making out a strong case for grant of bail, defence counsel Vinod Ghai from the outset concentrated on the fact that the section 365 read with 511 IPC offence in the case was not made out. While asserting that the entire episode as alleged by the complainant is denied, he said the petitioner was in custody for five months for an offence which was not even made out.

 

Spelling out the definition of abduction in section 362 IPC, he said that abduction by itself is not an offence but abduction with intent is an offence. The intent part is missing from the reading of the FIR even if assumed to be correct, he added. It is alleged in the FIR that one of the two men in the trailing car stepped down from his car and banged his hand on the windshield of the complainant’s car; this in any case neither makes offence of stalking nor kidnapping.

 

Tracing the progress of the case, the defence counsel said on 05.08.2017, even with the best effort of all legal minds of the complainant, they could only make it an offence under section 354-D IPC in the FIR and the accused were bailed out. After the recording of statement under section 164 Cr.P.C., section 341 was added unfairly, and only on the 09.08.2017, the non-bailable section 365 read with section 511, were added under media pressure and when politicians belonging to non BJP parties made it an issue.

 

Defence counsel further pointed out that during her cross examination in the trial court the complainant admitted that at the time of filing the FIR her father and an advocate was present with her and it is clear that legal minds were at work and had helped draft the complaint, he said.

 

Here Pankaj Bhardwaj , the lawyer for the complainant, pointed out that the petitioner was son of an influential politician of Haryana and President of the state BJP and there was an apprehension that they would try to influence the witnesses. Here Justice Lisa Gill snubbed the lawyer and said that this reference was uncalled for.

 

The defence counsel at this point asserted that not once during the entire case was any kind of political influence was used by the petitioner.  He also said if the complainant was so influential he would not have surrendered before the police on the 09.08.2017. Moreover there has been no application by the prosecution, complainant or witnesses about any attempt ever made to intimidate or threaten by the petitioner.

 

The evidence of the complainant had been completed and there has not been a trace of political influence being used by the petitioner right from the date the FIR was registered by the police.