Vadodaras Panigate police have sought a warrant against Ashok Shah,accused of raping a 28-year-old married woman by threatening to frame her husband in a criminal case.
The warrant against Shah,who reportedly enjoys certain amount of clout over Sankheda,the area,where the incident took place,comes after the Gujarat High Court gave its consent to a medical termination of the womans pregnancy,caused due to the rape. The woman underwent abortion at a civil hospital in July and samples of the foetus have been preserved for a DNA test to match with the accused.
Shah,however,continues to evade arrest after the local court as well as the HC refused to grant him anticipatory bail.
The Panigate police,which has been on the pursuit of Shah since a the victim filed a complaint in June 17,claiming that Shah had been sexually exploiting her since January this year. However,the police have not been able to lay their hands on him so far.
Inspector of Panigate police station J D Waghela says,We have received the warrant from the court two days ago and we are on the look-out for Shah. The victim has already undergone an abortion at a civil hospital in Surat and we have a sample of the foetus. Once we have Shah in custody,we will conduct a DNA test to confirm his role.
Waghela says Shah,who is a BJP worker in Sankheda and owns a flat in Panigate in Vadodara,which is where he committed the offense against the victim on several occasions,has been giving police teams a slip for the past two months.
We have sent our teams to Sankheda several times in the past,because we believe he must be hiding there. But every time,the team has returned without any luck, says Waghela. The warrant,issued by the Vadodara court under Section 70 of CrPc,has meant that the police will have to locate Shah and produce him before the court during the trial.
According to a legal expert,The court issues a warrant under Section 70 of CrPC to make sure the accuse is brought to court during the trial. This warrant means that the court has issued the order to the police to find Shah and produce him in court.
Shah has been accused of repeatedly raping the victim by threatening to frame her husband in a criminal case. The victim,who had appealed to the HC in June to seek approval for termination of her 12 week-old foetus,conceived after a forced intercourse with Shah,had told the court that she was coerced to give into Shahs sexual advances as she did not want her businessman husband to be framed.
Shah,who was a neighbour of the victims parents,had lent Rs 11 lakh to help the victims husband during a financial crisis. However,he soon began blackmailing the victim with help of certain blank documents that bore her husbands signature and threatened to frame him in a criminal case if she did not submit to his sexual advances.