Mumbai

Molestation case: HC grants DIG interim protection from arrest

Court to now hear More’s anticipatory bail application on February 17

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted interim protection from arrest to Nishikant More, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (motor transport) accused of molesting a minor girl at her birthday party in Navi Mumbai in June last year.

A single Bench of Justice P.D. Naik will now hear Mr. More’s anticipatory bail application on February 17.

An FIR into the incident was registered at the Taloja police station under Sections 354A (1) (i) (physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code, apart from sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, six months after the alleged incident happened.

The officer had moved the High Court after a sessions court in Panvel rejected his anticipatory bail application in January. Senior counsel Ashok Mundargi, representing Mr. More, told the court that not only had there been a delay of six months in registering the FIR, but it had also been lodged because of a property dispute between Mr. More and the girl’s family. The two families were known to each other very well, and Mr. More had attended the birthday party with his wife, Mr. Mundargi said.

He also claimed that the sessions court had rejected the DIG’s anticipatory bail because it was deemed that the girl had gone missing, and since the victim had left behind a suicide note naming the officer, the court had deemed that it could turn out to be dying declaration. But since the girl was traced to Dehradun, the lawyer asked the court to restrain the police from taking any coercive steps against the officer.

The court has directed Mr. More to appear before the Taloja police on January 29, 30 and 31 to cooperate with the probe. It noted, “The accused and the victim’s family shared cordial relations, which later turned sour after the girl’s father refused to return money that he allegedly borrowed from him.”

It also said, “The manner and conduct of the victim in the video creates doubt over the alleged incident.”

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 12:23:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/molestation-case-hc-grants-dig-interim-protection-from-arrest/article30629058.ece

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