FPJ Legal: Marathi film producer-writer who alleged harassment by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut denied bail in fake degree case

A Marathi film producer-writer Swapna Patker, who had accused Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut of harassing her for eight years, was denied bail by a sessions court on Tuesday in a cheating case booked against her later by the Bandra police for practising at a city hospital for two years as a clinical psychologist using a fake degree.

The court in its detailed order while rejecting her relief said that considering the facts and circumstances in the case, it will not be proper to release the applicant on bail at this juncture when the matter is under investigation, otherwise a wrong message will go in society.

Additional Sessions Judge MM Umar said at even at this stage, there is ample material prima facie leading to an inference of there being reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant has committed a non-bailable offence.

The woman, who was arrested on 8 June had claimed in her application for bail that she was falsely implicated in the case and that the offence of cheating is not made out. The police had opposed her plea telling the court that she may tamper with evidence or witnesses if released on bail and that the probe is at an initial stage. It also informed the court that the deputy registrar of Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj University in Kanpur from where she claimed to have studied, had told the investigating officer that her degree is not genuine.

The Bandra police had booked her on 26 May for cheating and forgery among other sections under the IPC upon the report of a social worker Gurmeet Kaur who had complained that Patker was practising at Lilavati hospital on a forged degree of PhD in psychology as well as representing herself as a psychologist on her social media profiles. She has been removed from the post by the hospital.

Patker had approached the Bombay HC through a writ petition after her bail plea was rejected by a magistrate. The HC had directed the sessions court to decide her bail plea on or before 28 June.

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