Monday 10 December 2018

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HC also denies bail to Rupesh in sexual harassment cases

 

The high court today dismissed the appeal made by journalist Rupesh Samant by rejecting his plea to grant him anticipatory bail, which was earlier rejected also by the lower court.

Samant, facing series of charges of sexual harassment, is absconding for the last 35 days.

The court has already issued a non-bailable warrant against him, after circulating a look-out notice even at all the police stations of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Justice K L Wadane called both the parties in the chamber today evening and pronounced a one-line order of dismissing all the three petitions Samant had filed.

In three different orders, the Mapusa district and sessions court had dismissed his anticipatory bail application on 14 October.

DETAILS

While he has not been showing up at the Women’s police station, since 26 September, Samant had sworn an affidavit before a notary in Mumbai to file an appeal in the Bombay high court at Goa.

His case was heard by the court yesterday.

Public Prosecutor Adv Santosh Rivonkar had told the court in what exploitative manner Samant had sexually harassed his junior women journalists while working at HCN cable TV channel.

He had also pressed for Samant’s custody since he has not been responding to almost eight summons issued to him, due to which the police had to now seek a non-bailable warrant issued against him.

 

Adv Rivonkar had also claimed that at least not less than 25 more victims would come forward with complaints once he was put behind the bars.

Adv Shirish Gupte, a lawyer hired from Mumbai, had dubbed all the complaints at a conspiracy hatched by his professional colleagues and their stooges, out of jealousy.

He had also alleged that somebody must have ganged up against Samant due to which there was a sudden spate of complaints.

The high court apparently was not impressed with the conspiracy theory and dismissed all the three appeals, seeking anticipatory bail.

BACKGROUND

Samant was working as Goa bureau chief of PTI and anchor of HCN cable TV channel.

He is facing charges of insulting modesty of women through physical act, sending lewd messages on mobile, making sexually coloured remarks and making physical advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures.

The first FIR was filed against him on 25 September based on complaints filed by two women journalists.

This was followed by three more complaints filed against Samant, of varying nature of sexual harassment of his juniors, from 2012 till this year.

However, following the spurt of FIRs of sexual harassment filed against him, Herald Group owning HCN channel had disowned him while he is not found on PTI duty.






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