On the 6th of April, a 23-year-old man named Bal Karan Yadav killed a man by stabbing him 24 times in full public view. Yadav had been arrested four years ago in a molestation case involving the victim’s daughter, and was out on bail since November 2014. Yadav’s family had been threatening the family of the victim in order to pressurise them to withdraw the case against him. Since they refused to do so, the victim’s daughter has had to curtail her own movements outside the house due to constant threats and harassment from Yadav and his friends.
This isn’t a one-off case, or even a new development, although we seem to be noticing it a lot more these days. Last month, we reported on Shivaram Reddy, a man who was arrested on rape charges in 2014, who went on to rape two more women in Bangalore PGs when he was out on bail. Last month also saw us discussing the horrifying case of a woman in UP who was raped and forced to drink acid by the same men who previously raped her, attacked with her a knife and with acid, and who were still out on bail. In that case, horrifyingly, the police said that they would file an FIR only if her husband filed a complaint.
So what’s to be done, really? As horrifying as it is that these incidents keep taking place almost literally every month, bail pleas aren’t about to be abolished any time soon. Perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea, however, to reevaluate bail pleas in cases of sexual harassment, molestation and stalking.