The Bombay High Court rejected the transit anticipatory bail to Mumbai-based TV news anchor Varun Hiremath, who was booked for raping a woman in the national capital.
A bench of Justice Prakash D Naik on March 1 heard Hiremath’s plea filed through senior counsel Aabad Ponda seeking transitory pre-arrest bail in connection with a case registered at Chanakyapuri police station in Delhi.
The woman in her complaint and her statement before a magistrate has alleged she was raped by Hiremath, who works with ET Now, at a five-star hotel in Chanakyapuri on February 20. As reported by The Indian Express, Delhi Police has issued a lookout circular against him, barring him from leaving the country. According to police, Hiremath has been on the run since February 23 when the FIR was registered against him.
Ponda submitted that with a view to enable applicant Hiremath to move to an appropriate court in New Delhi, protection from arrest may be granted to him.
After hearing submissions, Justice Naik noted, “There is no dispute about powers to grant transit anticipatory bail. The applicant is charged under Section 376 of IPC. The applicant may approach the appropriate court. I am not inclined to grant such relief in this case.”
The HC added it had not adjudicated the application on merits. Ponda told the court that the complaint was false and as the applicant had a good case on merits, he should be granted protection. However, Additional Public Prosecutor S S Pednekar said that relief should not be granted to the accused considering the charge against him and that the police station concerned is not party in the case.