The defence for the senior IPS officer Sunil Paraskar, accused of raping and molesting a 26-year-old model in December last year, informed the special woman’s court Wednesday that until the month of June, the model addressed Paraskar as a “friend” in the mails exchanged between the two.
“Even after the incident of the alleged molestation on December 1 and rape on December 7, last year, she (the model) continued to acknowledge Paraskar as a good friend, implying a healthy and respectable relationship between the two. So, either the alleged incident did not happen or if at all it happened, it was consensual, ” argued Merchant.
The lawyer, Rizwan Merchant also said that the amendment of rape laws is “put to misuse, to settle grudges as vengeance ,” in the case.
Merchant said that, according to her statement in the FIR, the model had cited mental trauma and depression as reasons for the delay in filing the FIR against the DIG.
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However, highlighting her interactions with people on a social networking platforms, Merchant argued that she was leading a “normal and a happy life” by attending events and parties in the city.
Reading out the model’s twitter posts, Merchant said, “ She was verbal about an earlier ‘escort-racket case’ she was involved in, but she never spoke of the alleged incident on December 1. This move could have served as a deterrent for Paraskar from allegedly raping her, a week later.”
Merchant also tried to bring on record, leaked CCTV footage and audio clips in the media, of an alleged conversation between the model and her former lawyer, Rizwan Siddiquee, which allegedly stated that she wanted to lodge an FIR, but still did not mention the allegations of rape and molestation to Siddiquee, even after he had sent a legal notice to Paraskar on July 15. The model had sent a legal notice to Paraskar for allegedly “misusing his position, mentally harassing her and trying to extort money from her.”Moreover, Merchant claimed that it was nothing but a publicity stunt.
Merchant also told the court that because of the complainant’s professional rivalry with another model, she had also accused Paraskar of having an illicit relationship with her competitor. The complainant and her rival are both trying to bag an entry into a popular reality television show, Merchant said.
The model’s lawyer, Chitra Salunke, strongly objected the move stating that, it was wrong on the part of Siddiquee to even record the conversations, let alone leak it to the media.
Merchant also informed the court that they had received a letter from the Crime branch demanding Paraskar to undergo Layered Voice Analysis and Suspect Detection System test. Merchant said that they will reply to the letter in a day or two.
“These tests help in picking up deception, if the same is present in a scientific manner. Conversely, it also helps in establishing innocence. We want to use scientific tests that are available in our country to arrive at truth in the matter,” said Sadanand Date, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime).
Concluding his arguments for granting anticipatory bail to the officer, Merchant argued that, Paraskar, even in custody, would deny the allegations against him.
Moreover, stating the Crime Branch would not be handicapped if Paraskar destroyed his phones, as the investigating team can retrieve information from service providers.