Mumbai: The harassment caused by Rahul Singh, the boyfriend of late actor Pratyusha Banerjee, "made her think about suicide", a court in Mumbai has observed while rejecting the discharge application of Singh, accused abetting the suicide of the actor. The court noted that prima facie it is clear that "physical, emotional and financial harassment and exploitation" by Singh landed the deceased in depression. The fact Singh didn't take any steps to alleviate her sufferings will clearly bring him within the clutches of having abetted the suicide of the deceased, it said.
Additional sessions judge Sameer Ansari (Dindoshi court) made these observations while rejecting Singh's discharge application on August 14. Its detailed order was made available on Wednesday.
On April 1 in 2016, 24-year-old Banerjee, who shot to fame with her role of Anandi in the hit TV series "Balika Vadhu", allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself at her flat in Goregoan area of western suburbs.
Based on a complaint lodged by her mother, a case was registered against Singh, an actor and event organiser by profession, under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 306 (abetment of suicide), 504 (intentional insult), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt).
In the discharge plea, filed through advocate Shreyansh Mithare, the accused claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case on account of "personal vendetta with an ulterior motive" to tarnish his image.
The accused said he and Banerjee were deeply in love with each other and supposed to get married in December 2016.
Singh also claimed that the late actor was deeply disturbed and frustrated due to the constant interference of her parents in her life.
On the allegation of misusing Banerjee's money, the accused contended that it was the mother of the deceased who was holding 34 joint bank accounts with her daughter which enabled her to withdraw her daughter's hard-earned money at any time.
Banerjee's parents were in the habit of blowing the late actor's money and living a lavish life which he had tried to stop after coming into Pratyusha's life. It angered her parents, due to which they started portraying him in a bad light, the accused claimed in his submission.
The prosecution opposed his plea, saying that the statements of various witnesses as available in the chargesheet clearly show that the accused had physically and mentally harassed the deceased due to which she had committed suicide.
It further submitted pointing there is proof to show that the accused abetted the suicide of the deceased.
Considering all the material available in the charge-sheet, the court said, "It is prima facie clear that it was the conduct of the accused, i.e. his physical, emotional and financial harassment and exploitation of her which landed the deceased in depression." "Such that she had expressed her desire not to live further on account of the same to her aunt Barnali Banerjee and the tarot card reader," it said.
The court further said that the accused who was living with the deceased could not be said to have been unaware about the state of her mind as also of she being caught in a catch-22 situation - about she being aware of it being beneficial and necessary to leave her exploitive partner, but still wanting to marry him.
"This state of being of Pratyusha (Banerjee) as per the material, on record, was on account of the accused, whose harassment made her think about suicide," the court observed.
The fact Singh didn't take any steps to alleviate her sufferings "will clearly bring him within the clutches of having abetted the suicide of the deceased" as he could be said to have intentionally aided and incited the act of suicide, by his conduct, it said.
The court said that there is prima facie material to reflect the involvement of the accused in the crimes for which he has been chargesheeted and rejected his discharge plea.
The charges against Singh are likely to be framed on November 8.