The Bombay high court on Monday granted anticipatory bail to assistant commissioner of police Anil Mahabole who was suspended by home minister RR Patil last week after a middle-aged married woman filed a complaint of sexual misconduct against him. The court observed that prima facie it did not feel this was a case of rape.
Mahabole had secured interim protection last week from the high court after failing to get any relief from the sessions court.
After going through the reports and the letter of the complainant to the police commissioner which was treated as a FIR, justice Abhay Thipsay observed that nowhere a case has been made out for rape. “I don’t find any allegation of rape other than a case of sexual exploitation,” the judge said.
Following the court’s query on whether Mahabole has been interrogated so far, his lawyer Rohini Wagh stated that he had visited the crime branch on Saturday.
Additional public prosecutor Rajshree Gadhvi submitted that the investigation is going on and added that Mahabole is yet to surrender some of his mobile phones and SIM cards.
Wagh, however, countered that Mahabole’s three mobile phones and SIM cards have been deposited with the investigating agency.
She also pointed out that the complainant was in the habit of lodging such complaints and gave instances where the complainant had filed such cases against a policeman and a jeweller.
The court also wanted to know whether Mahabole has been suspended from his post of assistant commissioner of police. Wagh said that they have come to know about it from media reports, but he is yet to receive an official communication in this regard.
The court finally held that this is a fit case for granting interim protection while the investigation is going on and directed Mahabole to visit the crime branch on a daily basis till the next hearing on April 30.
The judge also said that in the event Mahabole is arrested, he should be released on a cash bail of Rs30,000.
Mahabole has been in the dock after the Azad Maidan police registered a case of rape against him. The complainant had alleged that Mahabole raped and blackmailed her after allegedly drugging her. The complainant claims that Mahabole allegedly shot a video of her in a compromising position to blackmail her.