A Delhi court on Tuesday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of a professor at St Stephen’s College, who is accused of sexually harassing a PhD student.
Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Garg dismissed the accused’s anticipatory bail plea. Delhi Police has registered an FIR against him.
The accused on Tuesday moved the anticipatory bail on the grounds that he was “physically handicapped” with 85 per cent permanent physical impairment and that all the allegations of “molestation” against him were “concocted”.
“There is not an iota of evidence against the accused and the entire allegations in the FIR are false and fabricated. At every level, the complainant has modified her allegations. Nor does the FIR name a single eyewitness in the case, despite the alleged harassment to have taken place on the college premises,” advocate Nitin Kumar, counsel for the accused, said.
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The defence counsel further argued that he “cooperated” with the internal complaints committee for 40 days, and that he would continue to cooperate with the investigation of the police. “My client is a resident of Delhi and there is no chance that he will flee from the capital. Also, he has cooperated with the university all this while and he shall cooperate with the police,” the counsel argued.
However, the prosecution vehemently opposed the plea stating that “prima facie charges of attempt to rape” was made out against the accused and that he was in a “dominant position to influence” the witnesses in the case. “He is in a position where he can tamper with evidence and also can influence the witnesses. The FIR clearly indicates that prima facie attempt to rape is made out against him. He has also made offensive statements, threatened to pour acid on the victim. He can also generate false evidence if he is let free in the campus,” Additional Public Prosecutor R K Tanwar argued.
The public prosecutor alleged that college principal Valson Thampu “had forced the girl” to give in writing that she does not want to pursue the matter and that Thampu, in connivance with Kumar, had tried to pursuade the victim. “This man not only tried to influence the case because of his close ties with the principal, he went to the extent of stopping her stipend amount,” the prosecutor argued.
To which the defence said, “It is the accounts department which released the stipend and my client has no role in this. If she wanted the stipend she should have approached the accounts department. These allegations are baseless.”
The defence said they should examine the call detail records of the accused to ascertain that calls were made to the victim on a normal basis. “The allegation is that Kumar called over 25 times on the alleged day of incident. However, the police should examine his CDRs to ascertain that on other days also calls have been exchanged, and that this allegations is unwarranted,” the defence said.