Sanjay Raut
Sanjay Raut

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Govinda Sanap on Friday refused to grant any relief to a 36-year-old woman, arrested for allegedly procuring a fake PHD degree. The woman has alleged that the Bandra Police has arrested her on an FIR, which is motivated by a 'politician, Sanjay Raut.'

The bench while hearing the case noted the submissions of advocate Abha Singh for the woman, who alleged malice and malafide on part of the Bandra police, DCP of the zone and also the investigating officer of the case. She has claimed that the present FIR is just to block her client from pursuing with the three writ petitions she has filed alleging harassment at the hands of Shiv Sena leader and parliamentarian Sanjay Raut.

She claimed that the FIR doesn't mentions the name of the complainant and based on such an 'anonymous' plaint, her client is languishing in the jail from last 18 days.

"Thus, it is my case that the police has acted in the most malicious way and with malafide. The FIR is motivated", Singh argued.

Singh further claimed that her client is booked for an allegedly procuring fake PhD degree, which was given to her on honorary basis by an university at Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. She pointed out that her client was working as a psychologist at city's Lilavati hospital, which hasn't made any complaint against her honorary degree.

"There is no victim in the case, to whom I am alleged to have cheated. There are so many celebrities and actors, who are conferred with such honorary degrees. Will the police prosecute them too?", Singh argued further.

Chief public prosecutor Deepak Thakre, however, pointed out that the Magistrate court has dismissed the woman's bail plea by giving a prima facie opinion that the offence is serious.

At this, Justice Sanap questioned Singh if the FIR filed against her client is false. "Yes. It is motivated and malicious", she responded.

To this, an irked Justice Sanap said, "If you are making allegations against the police then you need to justify it in facts. Because, the magistrate has considered the material and has come to a prima facie finding that material is enough to prosecute you and that this is a serious case."

"If you claim the entire case is motivated then you are even accusing the Magistrate then. Is it so?" the judge sought to know from Singh, who responded in negative.

She, however, pointed out that her client has a 15-year-old son and a 71-year-old mother to look after. "But your bail application has been rejected by the Magistrate", Justice Sanap pointed out.

"If we accept your contention that the FIR is a result of malafide action then what about the bail order, which is passed premised on a prima facie opinion. The Magistrate has applied his mind and considered the material and held this case to be a very serious one. What about this order then?", the judge questioned.

At this, Singh argued that the police had seized her computer, laptop etc. "All this is being done to block my client from pursuing my three writ petitions filed in this court. As they have seized the material why to arrest her?", she argued.

Justice Shinde on the bench sought to know as to who has motivated the FIR to which Singh refused to name the politician. "Then it isn't appreciable to say anything behind that person's back since he isn't party to these proceedings. So, let's not argue that the FIR is motivated but if you want to then please make him a party", Justice Shinde told Singh.

Meanwhile, Thakre pointed out that as per the procedure, Singh's client has to now appeal before the sessions court to challenge the Magistrate's orders denying her bail. To this, Singh said she would approach the sessions court on Saturday.

The judges, accordingly adjourned the matter with a liberty to the woman to move the chief justice and seek an early hearing.

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