Bombay HC Grants Pre-arrest Bail to BJP MLA Ganesh Naik in Rape Case

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted pre-arrest bail to BJP MLA Ganesh Naik in a case of alleged rape and intimidation filed by a woman, noting that the relationship between the accused and the complainant was consensual. A single bench of Justice Anuja Prabhudessai said considering that the relationship between the accused and victim was consensual, “prima facie essential ingredients of the offence of rape are not made out”.

It is stated that no case is made out for custodial interrogation. The application for bail cannot be rejected solely on the ground that the applicant is an MLA, Justice Prabhudessai said. The court, however, directed Naik to surrender his licensed revolver to police within a week. The victim had claimed that Naik threatened her with the revolver.

In the event of arrest, Naik was entitled to be released on bail on a payment of Rs 25,000, the high court said. The HC also directed Naik, who is an MLA from Airoli in Navi Mumbai, to appear before the police station concerned on Monday and Tuesday for questioning. The 42-year-old woman claimed in her complaint that the she was in a live-in relationship with former Maharashtra minister Naik from 1995. They allegedly met in 1993 in a club where she was a receptionist, and fell in love.

The FIR also pointed out that they had a sexual relationship and the couple also had a child. The woman alleged that Naik was not treating her well and avoided her phone calls. There were constant quarrels also between them, she said. She claimed that one day, Naik called her to his office for lunch. When she tried to enquire if he would give his name to the child, Naik allegedly pulled out his revolver and told her to stop harassing him, or else he would kill her, their son and then end his own life. After this incident, the woman proceeded to file a complaint and police registered an FIR against Naik. While seeking anticipatory bail from the court, Naik contended that for an incident which happened in 1995, the allegations had been raised in 2022, which was belated. He pointed out that the case was filed at the behest of his political rivals.

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