Maharashtra: Sanjay Raut refutes allegations by Kalina woman
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Friday refuted the allegations of stalking and harassment made against him by a Kalina-based psychologist and informed the Bombay high court (HC) that the petitioner was like a daughter to him. He further added that the allegations were levelled against him because she thought that he was siding with her husband in their matrimonial dispute.
The psychologist had filed a petition seeking directions to the Mumbai Police to take action on three cases registered by her in 2013 and 2018 and to investigate Raut’s role in a 2020 incident wherein the National Commission of Women (NCW) had directed the deputy commissioner of police, zone 8 to take action but nothing was done.
A division bench of justice SS Shinde and justice Manish Pitale, while hearing the psychologist’s petition, was informed by advocate Abha Singh that her client was living in constant fear for safety due to inaction by police in the three first information reports (FIRs). The first FIR was filed in Mahim police station in May 2013 after she was assaulted by unknown persons and the second one in June 2013 at Vakola police station after another attack on her. The third FIR was registered in 2018 at Vakola police station after a man was arrested for stalking her.
The petition has alleged that the Shiv Sena leader had time and again threatened her and also resorted to harassment by tapping her phone and kept track of her movements by using security guards and the police. The petition also alleged that her social and professional life was disrupted as her husband was told to harass her and later divorce her while her friends and acquaintances were told to distance themselves from her or face dire consequences.
Singh submitted that though the NCW had directed the police to register an FIR in 2020, nothing had been done. She also said that it had been eight years since the two FIRs were registered, but no action was taken, and hence the court should issue directions to the police to investigate the matter.
Singh submitted as the police did not take any action even after the NCW’s direction to register an FIR against Raut and others, she had to move the HC.
Chief public prosecutor Deepak Thakare for the state submitted that a charge sheet had been filed in one of the complaints and A-summary reports were filed in the two other cases, therefore further investigation was not required and the petitioner’s plea was not maintainable.
While refuting the allegations in the petition, senior counsel Prasad Dhakephalkar submitted that the petition was baseless and misconceived. He raised a preliminary objection that if the complainant wanted, she could have approached the magistrate before whom the reports were filed, instead of raising allegations against his client before the HC.
Dhakephalker further submitted that the petitioner had made a plea before NCW and she could take further recourse there. “I have no problem against any inquiry being conducted. The charge sheet has been filed. She is a family friend and like a daughter to me. I know the family very well. She and her husband are having matrimonial disputes. She thinks I am siding with her husband, so she is making allegations against me,” Dhakephalkar submitted on behalf of Raut.
After hearing the submissions, the bench directed Thakare to give a copy of the charge sheet to the petitioner within two days. “Pending hearing, both sides shall restrain themselves from making allegations outside,” said the bench and posted further hearing to March 19.