In a special sitting held on Holi, the Supreme Court on March 29 granted anticipatory bail to a Goa-based restaurant owner (Jude Lobo) accused of rape.
A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer held the special sitting to consider the special leave petition filed by Jude Lobo challenging the Delhi High Court's dismissal of his bail plea.
"We are satisfied that the petitioner has made out a prima facie case for grant of anticipatory bail," the top court observed, as per a Bar & bench report.
The Bench sat on an urgent basis to hear Lobo’s case for protection against arrest after the Delhi High Court refused to give any relief to the accused.
A Delhi-based woman has accused Lobo of raping her.
Appearing for Lobo, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said that the case is a "perfect example of a cock-and-bull story" and the rape allegations were levelled only in December 2020 though the rape was allegedly committed in 2009.
Rohatgi said the allegations were levelled against Lobo because he refused to host a party at his restaurant due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Granting relief, the SC said, "If Lobo is arrested, he shall be released on a personal bond of Rs 10,000. The petitioner is allowed to implead the complainant as Respondent No 2. Let it be done today (March 29) itself. Issue notice."
The court will reopen after Holi vacations on April 5.