A Delhi court on Friday refused to grant anticipatory bail to AAP leader Ram Pratap Goel, who — along with party MLA Rakhi Birla’s father Bhupender — was booked by the Delhi Police for allegedly raping a 24-year-old woman on the pretext of giving her a ticket for Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections.
Pressing Goel’s plea for pre-arrest bail, his counsel R K Burman argued that his client had been “falsely implicated” and that the case was “politically motivated”. The lawyer argued that Goel did not have the authority to distribute tickets for elections, and was merely a district office bearer of the party.
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Therefore, it was asserted that the ground raised in the complaint did not hold any water. Burman also said Goel belonged to a respectable family and was ready to cooperate with the investigation.
Opposing the anticipatory bail plea, the complainant’s lawyer Pradeep Rana and the state prosecutor, argued that the complainant was planning to contest the MCD elections on an AAP ticket and had started convincing the office bearers, who she had got to know over the years.
After considering arguments from both sides, the court observed, “She got in touch with a party official, may be at the lowest rung, and on being promised that she will get the ticket — did not strictly oppose his advances. It appears that on realising that her body is being used by the applicant for self and others’ enjoyment and blackmailing her on the pretext of making her sexual MMS viral, the complainant got this case registered. (sic).”
Therefore, the court said custodial interrogation of the applicant was necessary for not only unearthing the alleged MMS, but also zeroing in on the locations where the accused allegedly raped the complainant.
“Though nothing adverse in respect of the antecedents of the application have been stated by the prosecution, yet the probability of the investigation getting hampered and witnesses being tampered with cannot be ruled out, taking into account the position held by the applicant,” the court observed while dismissing the AAP leader’s plea.
The case was registered against the two under IPC sections 376 D (gangrape) and 506 (criminal intimidation).