Rape Case: Kerala HC Grants Relief to Ex-State Govt Pleader

Rape Case

The Kerala High Court on Friday granted regular bail to a former senior government pleader accused of raping a woman multiple times at his office and her residence.

Justice Sophy Thomas, while granting relief to the accused lawyer, P G Manu, noted the severity of the case, considering his position as a senior government lawyer in the High Court and the alleged sexual exploitation of the victim, who sought his assistance to settle a case in which she was the victim.

“The allegation is that the petitioner, who was in a position to dominate the will of the victim, sexually exploited her, and committed rape on her twice, and sent obscene videos to her continuously,” the Court remarked.

Despite the conclusion of the investigation and the filing of the final report, the High Court deemed it appropriate to grant bail, subject to stringent conditions ensuring the safety of the survivor. The accused was required to furnish a bond of Rs 2 lakh with two solvent sureties each.

Additional conditions included reporting before the investigating officer on the first Saturday of every month at 3 pm until material witnesses were examined, refraining from contacting the victim or her family, avoiding any harassment towards them directly or indirectly, and abstaining from influencing or intimidating witnesses or tampering with evidence.

The accused lawyer surrendered to the police following the rejection of his anticipatory bail plea by the Supreme Court in January, granting him a 10-day window. Prior to this, a look-out notice was issued against him when the deadline given by the Kerala High Court expired on January 12, marking the second extension provided to Manu to surrender.

An FIR under various IPC provisions, including sections 376 (rape), 354 (outraging modesty of a woman), and 506 (intimidation), along with the Information Technology Act, was lodged against the lawyer on November 29 of the previous year, following the victim’s complaint. Subsequently, the lawyer tendered his resignation.

According to the woman’s complaint, the lawyer had called her to his office to record a statement regarding a case and allegedly raped her on October 9, 2023, with two subsequent incidents on October 24 and October 29, 2023. She further alleged that he continued harassing her over the phone and sent obscene photos and videos.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte