By: MEGHNA YELLURU
A special woman’s court Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Sunil Paraskar, who has been accused of raping and molesting a 26-year-old model in December last year.
Allowing his bail application 19 days after it was filed, special judge Vrushali V Joshi observed, “It appears from the behaviour of the complainant (model) and going through her emails that the act (alleged incident of rape) must have been committed with consent.”
Taking into account defence lawyer Rizwan Merchant’s argument that the case was filed by the model because of personal rivalry, the court observed, “It appears from the emails she was having suspicion that he was having a relation with another model and therefore there is a possibility of lodging such type of complaint.”
Following the model’s complaint on July 24 , the Malvani police station had lodged an FIR against Paraskar under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 376(2) (rape by a police officer), 376 C (intercourse by superintendent of jail, remand home, etc) and 354 (D) (stalking by the police).
Taking note of the fact that the model had bought gifts for the 57-year-old senior IPS officer, including a watch worth Rs 70,000, and the emails exchanged between the two, the court observed that the duo were “having friendly relations even after the alleged incident”.
Moreover, the judge said that on December 1 and December 7, 2013, the days on which the model claimed she was molested and raped, the duo had “travelled together” to Madh Marve, where the alleged rape took place.
The court also observed that it was only after June that the model had started making allegations of rape against Paraskar and that until then, they shared “good relations”. “The words she (model) used (referring to the alleged incident) in her email does not prove rape,” the court said.
Relieved by the court’s order, Paraskar said, “I did visit all the places mentioned by the complainant in the FIR, but I was just helping her in the capacity of a friend.”
Though the court’s decision on Tuesday came as a relief for Paraskar, he also faces perjury charges, which will be heard on August 21.
The model’s lawyer, Chitra Salunke, had alleged that Paraskar committed perjury by stating that the model had complained against him only because he had “arrested her in a Prevention of Immoral Trafficking (PITA) case”. The model was, in fact, a complainant in the case and was not arrested, Salunke argued.
The defence lawyer, however, argued that the allegations of perjury could have been levelled because of a misunderstanding as the defence had made no such claim.
Judge Joshi, however, said that when asked by the court if the model was booked in a PITA case, the defence lawyer had answered in the affirmative.
Expressing “disappointment” over the anticipatory bail granted to Paraskar, the model said she would challenge the order in the Bombay High Court.