The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted pre-arrest bail to Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Legislative Assembly Ganesh Naik in a case where a woman accused him of rape and criminal intimidation.
Justice Anuja Prabhudessai observed that prima facie, the relationship between Naik and the complainant seemed to be consensual.
“Prima facie essential ingredients of rape are not made out. It is stated that no case is made out for custodial interrogation. Application for bail cannot be rejected solely on the ground that the applicant is MLA,” said Justice Prabhudessai.
Allowing Naik’s pre-arrest bail, the HC has said that, in case of arrest, he is to be released on bail on payment of Rs 25,000. Apart from asking him to appear before the concerned police station on Monday and Tuesday for interrogation, the HC has directed Naik to surrender his revolver within a week from today.
A First Information Report (FIR) was registered based on a complaint raised by a 42-year-old woman who claimed to have been in a live-in relationship with Naik since 1995. The couple allegedly met in a club in 1993, where she was a receptionist, and fell in love. A consensual sexual relationship followed, and they had a child as well.
In her complaint, the woman alleged that Naik was not treating her well and avoided her calls. There were constant quarrels as well. She claimed that one day, Naik called her into his office for lunch. When she tried to enquire if he would give his name to the child, Naik purportedly pulled out his revolver and told her to stop harassing him else he would kill her, their son and then end his own life.
Subsequently, an FIR was registered on the complaint of the woman. A supplementary statement was then filed alleging that between 2010 to 2017, the relationship between Naik and the complainant was not consensual.
While seeking anticipatory bail, Naik pointed out that the allegations were being raised in 2022 for an incident that allegedly took place in 1995. He claimed that the case was concocted by his political rivals seeking revenge against him.