Mumbai : During the hearing of the anticipatory bail application of Deputy Inspector General Sunil Paraskar at the Sessions Court, his lawyer, Rizwan Merchant, suggested that what transpired between the DIG and the alleged rape victim, an upstart model, could have been consensual.
Rizwan contended that the complainant’s demeanour in her interaction with his client went against the tenor and substance of her molestation and rape claim. The hearing was presided over by special judge Vrushali Joshi at the Sessions Court.
In her FIR filed at the Malwani police station, the complainant had said that after Paraskar molested her at the Navi Mumbai flat, she told him, “I am leaving”. However, Merchant argued that in spite of being upset she left along with him and even took him to Bandra in her car, although his police car was available.
Merchant cited another instance to buttress his contention. A week after this incident, he recounted, she met Paraskar again, after he called her over to show her a bungalow for the purpose of leasing it out. There, he offered her alcohol, which she refused. While Paraskar drank himself, she waited for him to finish. “Why would a woman meet her molester? Even after she met him and went to a bungalow with him, she did not raise an alarm? She did not scream, yell, and shout and try to save herself?” he said.
Contending that her conduct in no way suggested a rape had taken place, Merchant demanded: “Would this be termed as rape? Is this not consensual?”
He went on to highlight the delay in filing the FIR. Merchant pointed out that the complainant had had ample opportunities to confide in someone or complain to her then lawyer, Rizwan Siddiquee. “While travelling from Madh Marve to Linking Road, aren’t there any police chowkies, police stations, where she could have complained immediately? Couldn’t she have called the police helpline and said that your Additional Commissioner has raped me?” argued Merchant.
The two incidents had happened on December 1 and 2, respectively. The complainant at the time of registering the FIR did not remember the dates of the two incidents. Merchant said that it was the investigating team which had tracked the dates and spoon-fed the information to the complainant, which she subsequently recorded in her supplementary statement.
Merchant further went on to say that after Paraskar allegedly leaked the news of the Escort Services case in January, the complainant got angry and reprimanded him for leaking the news. “She does not get angry about the molestation or the rape, but she gets angry about Paraskar leaking the news to the media, that too when she was herself giving statements about the case,” Merchant observed.
He further commented on their meetings at coffee shops and her gifting him the Longines watch worth Rs 70,000 and the Mont Blanc wallet, pen and perfume worth Rs 57,000. “Why would you meet a rapist? Who gifts a rapist such costly gifts? Does this narration inspire confidence?” he said.