Mumbai: A court here on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to Bollywood actor Aditya Pancholi in a rape case filed by a woman. Dindoshi sessions court judge HB Gaikwad allowed the pre-arrest bail plea filed by Pancholi, who has denied the rape and other allegations levelled by the woman, who is also an actor.
The police in suburban Versova had registered a case against Pancholi under the Indian Penal Code sections 376 (rape), 323 (assault), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison) and 384 (extortion) in June on the woman's complaint.
The woman has alleged that the 54-year-old actor, who starred in several Hindi films in the 1990s, sexually assaulted her between 2004 and 2009.
She has also claimed that Pancholi beat her up and confined her to his house whenever she tried to approach police during this period. In the complaint, she said Pancholi demanded Rs 1 crore from her for not showing her private photographs to her family and friends, and claimed that she had paid him Rs 50 lakh.
Pancholi's lawyer Prashant Patil had submitted before the court that there was no explanation for the delay in lodging the complaint and dismissed as "vague" the allegations made against his client. Patil had also argued that the woman has lied about her date of birth in the complaint.
The woman was not a minor in 2004, as claimed by her, since her date of birth recorded in her passport is March 23, 1986, the lawyer had told court. If her date of birth mentioned in the passport is taken into consideration, her age in 2004 was more than 18 years, Pancholi's lawyer had said.
The woman has wrongly stated her date of birth as March 23, 1987, in the complaint and this prima facie shows she is not coming clean on the issue, the lawyer had said.
Her date of birth was different in her complaint and in her passport, and such discrepancies show "her intention to lie", Patil had said. She filed the complaint only when Pancholi got a favourable order from a magistrate's court in a defamation case that he had filed against her, the advocate had argued.
Pancholi has denied all the allegations and claimed he has been implicated in a false case.