A police officer from Kolhapur district had moved the Bombay High Court for anticipatory bail in a case in which he is accused of harassing a cellphone shop owner to suicide.
A single judge bench of Justice Mridula Bhatkar sent the matter for fresh hearing after the Sessions Court rejected his pre-arrest bail plea on the ground that he did not present himself in court.
Justice Bhatkar directed the Jaisinpur sessions court to decide the bail plea by May 24 on merit — which means Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP), Pradeep Bhosale is safe from arrest until then.
Bhosale had allegedly demanded Rs 5 lakh from the deceased, Mubin Patmegar (29) and other cellphone shop owners from Ichalkaranji, for not arresting them for the rape and subsequent blackmail of a woman using pictures of her in the nude.
Bhosale was the investigating officer, and eight other men were arrested for raping her and circulating the pictures on cellphones. Bhosale had questioned Patmegar and the others, and his team had reportedly seized a computer from Patmegar’s shop.
On May 1, Patmegar ended his life, leaving behind a suicide note in which he named Bhosale, Assistant Police Inspector Vilas Supe and a constable Mehat, alleging that Bhosale had been pressuring the group to pay him Rs 5 lakh, threatening to save the pictures on to Patmegar’s seized computer and implicate him in the case if they failed to pay up.
On Monday, Bhosale’s counsel Nitin Pradhan questioned the suicide note and denied the allegations of the demand for a bribe.
He contended that Patmegar and other cellphone shop owners had been neither detained nor threatened. Ashish Gaikwad, who represented Patmegar’s father, pointed out that the seized computer finds no mention in the police documents.
The Jaisingpur Sessions Court had rejected Bhosale’s anticipatory bail plea on May 10.