BJP leader Bernard N Marak was granted bail by Meghalaya High Court in a case involving the alleged rape of a three-year-old girl on his farm in West Garo Hills district.
Marak, an elected member of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council and also the vice president of the BJP, was previously released on bail in connection with running a brothel in the farm and seizing weapons and ammunition from the premises.
In approving bail on Monday in the latest pending case against him regarding the farm, single court W Diengdoh noted that there was no direct evidence linking Marak to the alleged child sexual assault, noting that the politician was imprisoned on “very movie-like grounds”.
The BJP leader was ordered not to leave the country or attempt to tamper with the evidence, and asked to appear before the investigating officer when required, in addition to paying a personal bond of Rs 30,000 with two solvent bonds of the same amount.
After removing the bail application filed by the BJP leader’s brother, Tingku N Marak, the court stated that the accused was not apprehended along with the girl during a raid on his farm, and to say that he is likely to be the perpetrator only due to the fact that he owns the property is “too far-fetched”.
“In view of the facts and circumstances pertaining to the case of the petitioner’s accused brother, taking into account the value of freedom of a person detained on very weak grounds, this Court considers that the present application has been filed some merits,” it stated.
On July 26, Bernard N Marak was arrested from Hapur district in Uttar Pradesh after allegedly absconding after arresting a “sex racket” at his farm that led to the rescue of 25 minors and the arrest of 73 people.
The three-year-old girl was among those found in the farmhouse. Her medical examination confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted and during further investigation Marak was named as one of the suspects.
However, the investigation revealed that the sexual abuse against her was not of recent origin. She has been placed in a children’s home.
After nearly a month in police custody, Marak was returned to judicial custody and has spent the past three months in prison.
Earlier, on Oct. 1, the court granted bail to Marak in matters related to the farm while hearing a bail application filed by his wife LK Gracy.
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