Actor and television host Rakhi Sawant and four others failed to get relief from the Bombay High Court on Thursday in an alleged abetment to suicide case filed against them in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.
Sawant and the four reporters from Jhansi and Lucknow had moved the high court seeking quashing of the FIR filed against them, which charged them with abetting the suicide of one Laxman Aharwar, who had participated on Sawant's reality television show Rakhi Ka Insaaf.
Aharwar allegedly committed suicide on November 10 after being humiliated on the show, which is aired on NDTV Imagine. The show, which was recorded on September 29, was aired on October 23.
Four reporters, three from Jhansi and one from Lucknow, have also been named in the FIR as they had helped identify the dispute between the deceased Laxman Singh Aharwar and his wife Savitri and her in-laws. Their advocate, Satish Maneshinde, asked for interim relief till the petition was decided so that police do not take coercive action. However, the division bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice AP Bhangale refused to grant any relief.
"Take necessary legal recourse. You may file for anticipatory bail application or transit anticipatory bail. We are not inclined to offer any relief on the petition," remarked Justice Khanwilkar.
Maneshinde pointed out that Aharwar had died due to natural causes. A medical report from the MLB Medical College and Hospital states that Aharwar's "death was due to natural causes and that he died of ailments which included TB and pneumonia." Hence, abetment to suicide case cannot be lodged against these people, said Maneshinde, adding that the case was being hyped, as Sawant was a famous personality.
To which, Justice Khanwilkar remarked: "Before the court, being a personality does not make any difference."
As the court was not inclined to grant any relief, Maneshinde later withdrew the petition and said that they would be approaching appropriate forum.