Mumbai: Court rejects bail plea of man who raped 75-year-old footpath-dweller

Mumbai: A sessions court has rejected the temporary bail plea of a 27-year-old who is in jail since October 2017 after being arrested for raping a 75-year-old footpath-dweller.

Mahesh Kumar’s advocate told the court that jail authorities are unable to maintain adequate social distancing between prisoners during the pandemic and sought temporary bail.

Additional Public Prosecutor Kalpana Hire had opposed the bail plea stating that if released on bail he could threaten important witnesses or abscond as he is a homeless migrant from another state.

Ad-hoc Additional Sessions Judge NT Ghadge said in her order that the matter is part-heard and the testimony of the victim who is a helpless old lady has been recorded by the court. “Allegedly the accused has committed penetrative sexual assault on her..,” the court noted and said that considering the "gravity, nature and circumstances” in which the act was committed, “Court is of the firm opinion that the accused does not deserve to be released on bail, including in the nature of interim bail.”

As per the complaint registered at LT Marg police station, the woman was a footpath-dweller and made a living by selling dry-fruits. The youth had been inebriated after visiting a country liquor shop nearby. He had dragged the woman around 1.30 am when she was asleep and taken her behind a parked vehicle and raped her. An offence of unnatural intercourse is also registered against the youth.

A police complaint was registered after the woman informed a shopkeeper who used to take care of her about her ordeal. The police found the youth through CCTV footage.

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