The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday granted bail to Ashish Kumar, one of the two men accused of stalking and trying to abduct a woman in Chandigarh in August 2017, The Indian Express reported. On January 11, the court had granted bail to his friend Vikas Barala, whose father is the Haryana Bharatiya Janata Party president.
The two men were arrested on August 9, 2017, for allegedly stalking and trying to abduct Varnika Kundu, an IAS officer’s daughter. The two allegedly chased Kundu in an SUV while she was driving to Panchkula from Chandigarh on August 4, 2017. A medical examination found that both men were drunk. Both denied any intentions to abduct her.
On Thursday, Justice Lisa Gill said no useful purpose would be served by keeping Kumar in jail any longer in view of the present facts and circumstances, The Times of India reported. The court prohibited him from directly or indirectly try to contact the complainant, her family members or witnesses in the case.
The High Court had accepted Barala’s bail petition after a trial court dismissed it four times. After this, Kumar filed a petition and said he should also be given bail on the basis of parity with the other accused. The Chandigarh Sessions Court had rejected the bail plea on January 18.
His petition also said that the trial court had already recorded Kundu and her father’s statements, and there was no chance that he could influence the case if released on bail.
On August 5, the two men were arrested but released on bail within hours, as the police had charged them with stalking and wrongful restraint, which are both bailable offences. They were later charged with attempted abduction, which is a non-bailable offence. On August 29, the court denied the duo bail in the case, and in October 2017, it framed charges of abduction against them.