Supreme Court grants bail to two lawyers accused of raping a client

On Monday, the Supreme Court of India, has granted bail in a special leave application to MJ Johnson and Philip KK, two lawyers accused of misconduct. The decision came in response to an appeal against the interim bail granted to them by the Kerala High Court at Ernakulam on October 18, 2023.

The bank includes Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra heard the matter on May 13, 2024. Mr. V. Chitambaresh, senior advocate, appeared for the plaintiff while Mr. R. Basant, learned senior advocate, represented defendants Nos. 1 and 2.

During the trial, Mr. Chitambaresh argued that the defendants as lawyers were in a dominant position over the victim and the Supreme Court’s decision to grant them anticipatory bail was therefore wrong. On the other hand, Mr. Basant submitted that the respondents were taken into custody on May 6, 2024 and are currently in jail. He further stated that the investigation into the case is ongoing.

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The bank stated: “The accused (accused) are lawyers and were in a dominant position as far as the victim is concerned and therefore the Supreme Court erred in granting them anticipatory bail.”

In response, Mr. Basant argued: “The defendants were taken into custody on May 6, 2024 and are currently in prison. The investigation into the case continues.”

After considering the arguments of both sides, the court found it appropriate to grant bail to both defendants, MJ Johnson and Philip KK. However, the court noted that there were interactions between the defendant and the victim. Therefore, as a condition of bail, the defendants were ordered to maintain distance and refrain from any communication with the victim or other witnesses related to the case.

The court stated: “After considering the circumstances here and particularly the fact that defendants Nos. 1 and 2 have been arrested, we deem it appropriate to grant bail to both the defendants…However, since it has been found that there was an interaction between the defendant and “The defendants must maintain a distance and not communicate in any way with the victim or any of the other witnesses associated with the case.”

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In addition, the bench directed the trial court to impose any other bail conditions it deemed necessary after hearing from the prosecutor.

As a result, the Supreme Court set aside the impugned order dated October 18, 2023, set aside the same and granted anticipatory bail to the Supreme Court.

The special leave application was accordingly rejected by the chamber. The board also ordered that any pending applications remain closed.


Case No.: Application(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No.(s). 15122/2023

Judges: Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra

Order date: May 13, 2024

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