AFTER 16 months of trial, the Additional District and Sessions Court of Chandigarh on Thursday acquitted the former Sub-Inspector of Chandigarh Police, Naveen Phogat, on the charge of raping a Mumbai-based model at a hotel in Chandigarh in 2018.
The court of ADJ Poonam R Joshi acquitted Phogat on all charges under sections 376 (2) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. Phogat had been dismissed from service after he was booked for allegedly raping the woman. He had moved the Central Administrative Tribunal against his dismissal from the police service. The matter is still pending with the tribunal.
As per prosecution, an FIR against Phogat was registered on October 18, 2018. In her complaint, the woman, a model from Mumbai, had alleged that she came in contact with SI Phogat in May 2018 in connection with a case which was under investigation when Phogat was posted in the Cyber Cell of Chandigarh Police. She had been duped by one Rahul of Rs 10 lakh on the pretext of getting her assignments in the Punjabi film industry.
The woman had alleged that on June 12, 2018, she came to Chandigarh to join the investigation and remained stuck in the investigation with SI Phogat. About 7.30 pm, the accused offered to drop her at the hotel. She refused, but at his insistence, she agreed. When they reached the hotel, Phogat accompanied her to the hotel room on the pretext of using her washroom, where Phogat raped her by threatening to defame her as he possessed her objectionable photos. Following the case, Phogat was dismissed from service by the Chandigarh Police department on October 23, 2018.
During the trial, the complainant did not support the prosecution while the accused submitted that he was falsely implicated in the rape case following a tussle with senior police officers in the Cyber Crime Investigation Cell.
The defense counsel, Advocate Rabindra Pandit, had argued that the accused has been falsely implicated and he had no role in the matter.
After hearing the arguments and going through facts of the case, the court acquitted the accused. The detailed judgment in the matter is yet to be released by the court.
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