The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday quashed the FIR filed against BJP leader Jayanti Bhanushali in which he had been accused of raping a 21-year-old woman from Surat multiple times. The court’s decision to quash the FIR against the former BJP MLA from Abdasa came after the woman complainant submitted an affidavit in the court giving her consent to drop the rape case against Bhanushali and recorded her statement before the police.
Last week, the court had directed the police to verify an affidavit submitted by the 21-year-old woman, saying that “dispute” between her and Bhanushali was “amicably resolved as misunderstanding on both the sides got cleared”. “Therefore, now there is no any grievance between us and therefore, I have no objection if the FIR is quashed,” the woman’s affidavit stated.
The woman, who had appeared in the court in a burqa to submit the affidavit, had said, “Because of some misunderstanding and in a heat of moment, I had filed the (rape) case… but looking at my future and young age, I would like to have harmonious atmosphere in the society, in my family and also in my future. Therefore, now I don’t want to proceed in the present matter. I don’t have objection to the quashing of the FIR.”
During the hearing, public prosecutor Mitesh Amin told the court that the petitioner Bhanushali, who had filed a petition in the High Court seeking quashing of the rape FIR against him, should have filed a fresh petition as his petition was about quashing the FIR, but not on the ground of compromise.
Following a brief hearing, Bhanushali’s lawyer P B Khandheria said, a two line amendment was filed in the court which was granted. Justice P P Bhatt quashed the FIR after he was handed a verification report from the Surat police.
On July 19, Surat police had filed an FIR against Bhanushli after the 21-year-old woman lodged a complaint with the city’s police commissioner, accusing the BJP leader of raping her on several occasions between November 2017 and March 2018 on the pretext of getting her admission in a reputed fashion design institute. In the wake of the allegation, the 53-year-old leader had last month resigned from the post of the Gujarat BJP vice- president.