March 5, 2020 9:36:34 am
The Bombay High Court Wednesday restrained Thane Police from taking coercive action against former BJP MLA Narendra Mehta, accused of raping and harassing woman corporator, till further orders.
In his plea before the high court, Mehta had sought that an FIR registered against him on February 28 by a corporator of Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation be quashed. The FIR was registered under Section 376 (rape) and other relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Mehta had sought protection from arrest pending hearing and disposal of his plea.
On Wednesday, a division bench of acting Chief Justice Bhushan P Dharmadhikari and Nitin R Borkar was informed that while initially, the Mira Road Police was probing the case, its investigation was transferred to Thane Police’s crime branch earlier this week after the complainant claimed that she was being threatened.
As per the complaint, raised with the prosecution, between 1991 and 2000, the accused politician took the complainant to different places including Mumbai, Delhi and Nagpur and deceived her on the pretext of marriage and indulged in sexual harassment. The complaint also mentioned that Mehta used caste-based remarks and forced sexual relationship on the corporator without her consent.
Senior counsel Aabad Ponda, appearing for Mehta, said the complainant and Mehta got married in 2001 and currently she stays with her son. Ponda submitted that the complaint was motivated and that Mehta has been falsely implicated due to political rivalry after nearly 20 years since he supported another candidate and not the victim in recently held civic body elections.
“Gross delay in filing the FIR, coupled with the timing of the FIR, itself shows that entire case is lodged with oblique motives and done only to try to humiliate the petitioner,” Mehta’s plea stated.
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