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Chandigarh stalking case: Accused Vikas Barala granted bail

Vikas Barala, the son of Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala, was granted bail in the stalking and attempted abduction of the daughter of a senior Haryana bureaucrat

CHANDIGARH: Five months after the Chandigarh police arrested Vikas Barala, the son of Haryana BJP president Subhash Barala, for stalking and attempted abduction of the daughter of a senior Haryana bureaucrat, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday granted him bail.

Barala, a student of law, has been confined in Chandigarh's Burail jail since August 9, 2017.

While allowing him bail, Justice Lisa Gill, however, made it clear that Vikas not try to influence the trial of the case and would not make any attempt to contact the victim or her family.

While seeking bail, Barala's counsels, senior advocate Vinod Ghai and advocate Jasdev Singh Mehndiratta argued that the case is being tried by the magistrate's court, the accused was behind bars for around five months, and the statement of the victim has already been recorded. Thus, he deserved to be released on bail.

They also submitted that no case of kidnapping/abduction was made out against Barala because the facts and circumstances of the case do not fulfill the ingredients required to book him for such offences.

Opposing the bail plea, the counsel for the complainant, however, submitted that the offence committed by Barala is of a serious nature, as he had chased the victim for around five kilometres. It was also argued that the accused belonged to a well-connected political family and it was possible that he may use his clout to influence the trial of the case, if released on bail. The victim's counsel also requested that directions be issued for the completion of the trial in a time-bound manner.

After hearing both the parties, the court accepted the arguments of accused's counsel and granted bail with some conditions. The judge, however, has not passed any order on the victim's request for completion of trial in a time-bound manner.

On August 5, Vikas, and his friend Ashish had allegedly followed Varnika Kundu and tried to stop her car. She called the Chandigarh police, which apprehended the boys. At the time of incident, they were under the influence of liquor. Both were booked under section 354 D (stalking) of the IPC and under the provisions of Motor Vehicle Act.

Later, the police added two more sections for attempted kidnapping.