Mumbai: Court grants relief to molestation accused

Mumbai: A sessions court in Dindoshi granted pre-arrest bail to a 35-year-old businessman accused of sexually assaulting a woman job-seeker, stating that it prima facie appears that while he sought sexual favours from her, she too intended to blackmail him.

Additional Sessions Judge SU Baghele said in his order on Tuesday that the factual scenario prima facie reveals that the applicant was seeking physical relations by giving advertisement for a job. However, the other aspect that is visible, it observed, is that the woman herself also intended to extract something from him, by blackmailing him. It reasoned that instead of approaching the police in respect of the exchange of messages from him, firstly she went to his office and secondly, that she did not raise an alarm when he disrobed her partially, so as to alert her aunt who was nearby.

In the scenario, the judge said the man was entitled to anticipatory bail upon certain conditions. The Malad resident Vikas Patel had claimed in his plea that the woman had demanded Rs 10 lakh from him by intimidating him.

As per the complaint filed by the woman at Dindoshi police station, she had come across an advertisement for the job of ‘personal secretary’. When she contacted regarding the job, Patel started asking her for physical relations as part of the job. She went to his office and he allegedly undressed her partly and touched her inappropriately on her private parts. The woman’s aunt who was at some distance from the office had then knocked on the door and the man had confined the woman in the bathroom of the premises. Offences of outraging modesty, sexual harassment, wrongful restraint under IPC as well under a provision of the IT Act were registered against the man.

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