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Delhi HC denies bail to Afghan national in US woman's rape case

Delhi HC denies bail to Afghan national in US woman’s rape case

A 34-year-old Afghan national, accused of raping a US citizen here and threatening to upload indecent pictures and videos on the internet, was today denied bail by the Delhi High Court.

The court said prima facie it appeared that accused Hameedullah Mohd Akbar, currently lodged in Tihar Jail, has been actively involved in various alleged offences including rape, cheating and extortion and there was a “genuine reason to say that if he is released on bail, he will tamper with the evidence or even abscond”.

Besides Akbar, the court also dismissed the bail plea of co-accused Ghulam Rasool Khan, an Indian charged with actively associated with the main accused and for intentionally aiding Akbar by giving him a fake identity and facilitated his illegal stay here.

“In view of the serious allegations against the petitioner and other factors including severity of the punishment prescribed in law, I find no sufficient ground to grant bail to the petitioner,” Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said and dismissed the bail pleas of both the accussed.

Akbar had sought bail on the ground that the entire case of the complainant woman was concocted and false and no offence was made out against him. He submitted that he was a father of two children and his wife was pregnant and if denied bail, it would adversely affect his family.

The bail plea was opposed by the prosecutor and complainant’s counsel Manoj Taneja who argued that the offence was of a serious nature and it was also a case of extortion as the accused had threatened the victim to give him money or else he would upload indecent pictures of her on the internet.

Akbar is also accused of the offences of criminal intimidation and forgery of a valuable security. If convicted, the accused faces maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

According to the charge sheet, Akbar allegedly befriended the 39-year-old American woman, who is in the business of compression clothing, on Facebook posing as MK Faheem, a banker based in Dubai.

In the guise of love and affection, Akbar also managed to cheat the complainant of USD 86,000 on various false pretexts, police had said.

After she learnt the truth, he blackmailed her and also told her that he would upload her explicit pictures, it had said.

It had said that after the news of the registration of an FIR and his arrest broke in February this year, police received several emails from several women from different countries who alleged that they were also similarly victimised by the accused.

Akbar’s visa had expired in December 2013, the police had also said.

Giving details of his modus operandi, the report had said that the accused had made Facebook profiles with different names, approached female users for friendship, won their confidence and entrapped them.

Initially, he would portray himself as a gentleman and spend money on the woman to gain her trust, would give her assurance of marriage and then become physically intimate with her, it had said.

( Source – PTI )

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