The Mumbai Sessions Court granted bail to Solicitor accused of sexually harassing a 17-year-old girl who was to begin an internship with him.
As per the applicant, the 17 years old victim has lodged a complaint on 13/01/2022, alleging that, when she was celebrating her brother’s birthday in a cafe, the applicant spotted her and approached her. He inquired about the victim and introduced himself as a journalist & as an advocate. He handed the visiting card to the victim and asked her to visit his office. After that, the applicant contacted the victim through whatsapp. Victim showed her willingness to do an internship with the accused. Victim visited the office of the applicant along with her mother. Applicant called the victim on the next day for a photo-shoot. He took the victim towards various places in Colaba and in one hotel, when he was taking tea, he inquired about her vital statistics and other personal things such as her date of menses. After it, the accused took the victim on his Scooty towards Gateway of India and on the way, he moved his hand over the legs of the victim. The victim got scared and did not reveal it to her mother. Victim disclosed the incident to her mother. However, the victim was not well and did not want to file the complaint.
The applicant contended that there was an unexplained delay in filing the complaint. No such incident actually occurred and there is no recovery for which his custodial interrogation is required. Applicant undertook to abide with the conditions, if imposed on him while granting bail.
The prosecution contended that the statement of the victim u/s.164 of Cr.P.C. is yet to be recorded. C.C.TV Footage of the area near Lion Gate, Colaba & Gateway of India reveals the accused & victim are going on a Scooter. The CDR of the accused & victim is to be collected. Hence, the application is sought to be rejected.
The Addl. Sessions judge Nazera S. Shaikh noted that the accused is a solicitor & film maker. He has deep roots in society. Therefore, there are no chances of his absconding.
The court stated that so far as recording the statement of victim u/s.164 of Cr.P.C. is concerned and apprehension pertaining to the threatening of victim is considered, it can be taken care of by imposing stringent conditions on the applicant, while releasing him on bail. The preliminary investigation is completed and no further ground for his custodial interrogation can be seen.
The court taking into consideration the nature of offense, the incident and the background of the applicant, released him on bail on imposing stringent conditions.
Case title: Gajanan Chandraknat Khergamkar v/s The State of Maharashtra
Citation: BAIL APPLICATION POCSO NO.30 OF 2022