Updated: July 28, 2021 7:04:28 am
A 39-year-old woman, who had accused Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut of harassment, was on Tuesday granted interim bail by the Bombay High Court after she was arrested for allegedly practicing at a premier hospital in Bandra (West) for at least two years by using a fake PhD degree of a clinical psychologist before she was removed from the post.
The woman, in three other pleas, had earlier accused certain persons of stalking and harassing her at the behest of Raut and her estranged husband.
The woman assured HC that pending hearing, she will not use her PhD certificate for any purpose and not practice as clinical psychologist or as a counsellor.
The HC directed the petitioner to be released on bail after furnishing a personal bond of Rs 25,000, along with surety. It also asked her to cooperate with the probe by appearing before the Bandra police as and when required.
A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N J Jamadar noted, “The petitioner was arrested on June 8. Sufficient time has elapsed since the date of arrest of petitioner so as to facilitate effective investigation. The petitioner is a woman. In the exigencies of the situation on account of Covid-19 pandemic, aspect of continued detention of petitioner also needs to be taken into account. She claimed that her minor son and old mother are dependent on her.”
“Since we are of the view that offence punishable under Section 467 (punishment for forgery of valuable security, will etc) of the IPC, which entails imprisonment for life, is not prima facie made out, the aforesaid factors persuade us to grant the relief of bail to the petitioner pending the petition for quashing of charges… At this stage, at the most, the charge of offence punishable under Section 465 (forgery) of IPC can be said to have been prima facie made out,” it added.
Earlier, advocate Abha Singh, representing the petitioner, said that FIR was lodged with malafide to “illegally arrest” the woman without any warrant or notice and in “retaliation” of her other three petitions seeking registration of cases for stalking and harassment, which also raised grievances against conduct of “higher police officers”.
The court will hear the matter on September 6.
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