The Supreme Court on May 17 protected Indian Youth Congress president B.V. Srinivas in a case registered in Assam on a criminal complaint alleging sexual harassment.
A Bench of Justices B.R. Gavai and Sanjay Karol ordered that in the event of arrest, Mr. Srinivas should be released on anticipatory bail on furnishing solvent sureties to the sum of ₹ 50,000.
The court directed Mr. Srinivas to appear before the probe officer on May 22.
The court prima facie found that there was a delay of almost two months in lodging the FIR.
Appearing for Mr. Srinivas, senior advocate A.M. Singhvi submitted the complainant had actually complained of discrimination and there was not a whisper about sexual harassment in the six media interviews she gave prior to filing the complaint.
Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju, for Assam, denied any political motive behind the FIR. He pointed out that both the complainant and Mr. Srinivas were from the same party.
Mr. Raju said 41 notices were issued to Mr. Srinivas. He had, however, “consistently” disobeyed the summons. “He is perpetually unwell,” Mr. Raju said with a touch of sarcasm.
The Bench also added its own touch of sarcasm, though in a lighter vein, when it said that “it may be because of your reputation. You had arrested someone at the airport”. The court was referring to the detention of Congress leader Pawan Khera by the Assam Police at the Delhi airport.