In fresh trouble for former BJP MLA Jayanti Bhanushali, who is being investigated for alleged rape of a 21-year-old woman, the Gujarat High Court on Thursday sought investigation papers from Ahmedabad police after a 34-year old woman, accused of extortion, in her bail plea claimed that she was raped and filmed several times by the BJP leader and that she has been framed at his instance to silence her.
The Kutch-based woman, her husband and two others were arrested in April this year for allegedly blackmailing Sunil Bhanushali, nephew of Jayanti Bhanushali, with a purported video clip in which he was filmed in a “compromising position” with another woman.
Sunil had lodged an FIR with Naroda police station in Ahmedabad in April alleging that he was drugged by the woman at Kutchi Bhavan in Shahibaug and was filmed in a compromising position with another woman. He accused the woman of blackmailing him for Rs 10 crore and added that he gave her Rs 50 lakh. She is facing a similar case at Naliya in Kutch and two more cases in Patan and Vapi.
On July 5, the woman’s bail plea was rejected by the sessions court which stated, “Prima facie there seems to be a case against the applicant (woman).”
The lower court’s order also stated that the accused woman and Jayanti Bhanushali knew each other. “A stable owned by the woman was right by the orchard of kesar mango and dates belonging to Bhanushali at Abdasa taluka’s Hajapar village,” the order stated, adding that the accused woman knew the complainant Sunil’s uncle, Jayantibhai Bhanushali, “well”.
The woman then filed a fresh bail application in the High Court in which she claimed that the FIR against her was lodged at the instance of Jayanti Bhanushali so that “he doesn’t get exposed in a sex scandal”. She claimed that she and other accused had filed another petition in the High Court for quashing of the FIR “with the consent of the complainant” Sunil. She said that Sunil had filed an affidavit in the court stating that “the FIR was lodged by him due to some misunderstanding on his part and now the dispute between him and accused has been amicably resolved…”
However, according to her petition, Sunil later filed another affidavit and objected the quashing petition for “unknown reasons” following which the petition was dismissed on July 6.
She also claimed that on April 15, four days after she was booked for extortion, she faxed a letter to police Sub-Inspector of Nakhatrana police station in Kutch, alleging that she was raped by Jayanti Bhanushali multiple times and he had allegedly filmed the acts.
Her petition claimed that at the instance of former Abdasa MLA, the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch officials beat her up and made her sign a blank paper. The woman has said that she runs a dairy firm in Kutch.
On Thursday, after a brief hearing, Justice R P Dholaria admitted the petition and sought case papers of the investigation from Naroda police, and adjourned the case to August 21.