HC quashes FIR against rower Dattu Bhokanal for ‘harassing’ wife
In a major relief to Olympian and Asian Games gold medallist rower Dattu Bhokanal, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday quashed an FIR registered against him on charges of cheating and harassing his wife.
A bench of justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre quashed the FIR, saying the charges and the material on record against Bhokanal did not make out a case under sections 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Bhokanal had approached the high court earlier this month seeking that the FIR be quashed.
Bhokanal is scheduled to participate in the World Rowing Championship in Austria which is scheduled to be held from August 25 to September 1.
The 28-year-old rower from Nashik had said that if the charges against him were not quashed, he would not be able to attend the competition.
Bhokanal was India’s only rower to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
In May this year, he was booked by the Nashik police under sections 498 A and 420 of the IPC, after his police constable wife complained that Bhokanal had been harassing her mentally and physically.
His wife also alleged that the couple had got married as per Hindu rituals, and while Bhokanal had promised to get their marriage registered, he failed to do so on the scheduled date.
On Wednesday, Bhokanal’s lawyer told the high court that his client had not been able to get the marriage registered on the said date because he had to go for a sporting event.
The bench accepted the argument.
“The FIR does not disclose an offence under sections 420 and 498 A. There is no evidence in support ,” the bench said while ordering quashing of the FIR.
Bhokanal had won a gold in Men’s Quadruple Sculls in Indonesia at the 2018 Asian Games.
Speaking to PTI, the rower expressed happiness and satisfaction over the HC relief.