The Bombay high court on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to a city-based doctor accused of raping a 27-year-old tuberculosis patient.
Justice RS Dalvi, while granting bail to Dr Rustom Soonawala on a surety of Rs1 lakh, observed that his custodial interrogation was not required. The court, however, permitted the police to take the doctor into custody for a day to conduct medical tests and collect blood and DNA samples.
The vacation bench had earlier directed the police not to arrest him till June 11. Soonawala, 44, had approached the HC stating he was ready to give blood and semen samples on the condition that he is not arrested from the hospital. His advocate, Aabad Ponda, contended that under section 53 (A) of CrPC, a rape accused has the right to submit himself to the police for medical examination. Ponda argued that the police must wait for reports of the medical tests before making an arrest.
The court has now said if the tests are to be conducted outside Mumbai, Soonawala will be kept in police custody for a day; and if the tests are conducted in the city, he can be held for 12 hours.
Additional public prosecutor Poornima Kantharia opposed the petition, saying that his custody was required as he could tamper with the medical test results.
Soonawala was accused of raping his patient on May 17 under the pretext of examining her.