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FPJ Legal: Bombay HC grants bail to woman who alleged harassment by Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut in fake degree case

05:56 PM Jul 27, 2021 | Urvi Mahajani

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Tuesday granted bail to the woman, who has alleged harassment at the behest of Shiv Sena Member of Parliament Sanjay Raut, in an alleged fake degree case and has also directed her not to practice as clinical psychologist till further orders.

An FIR was lodged after Gurdeep Kaur Harinder Singh claimed that the woman, a psychologist, was practicing on the basis of a fake degree.

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While granting bail to the woman, a division bench of justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamdar, observed that the inquisitiveness shown by the first informant (Singh) was a matter of consideration. “Genesis of the prosecution case is in a chance discovery of copies of the degree which were delivered at the residence of respondent 5 (Singh), the first informant... It is true that anybody can set the criminal law in motion. However, the element of inquisitiveness which the first informant (Singh) exhibited may warrant consideration,” observed the HC.

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The HC has released the woman on temporary bail against personal bond of Rs 25,000 and surety of like amount. She has been directed to co-operate with the police investigation and attend Bandra police station regularly. Apart from surrendering her passport, the HC has directed her not to leave India without prior permission from the local magistrate.

“Petitioner shall not use her certificate and practice as clinical psychologist or counsellor till further orders,” observed HC.

While asking the respondents to file their reply, HC has kept the woman’s petition for hearing on September 6. The HC has also clarified that the order shall not be an impediment to further investigation.

The HC has also observed that it needs to decide whether the case falls under section 467 of the Indian Penal Code which deals with aggravated charge of forgery. A charge of forgery cannot be imposed on a person who hasn’t made the (forged) document. “The accused person has to be the maker of the document,” observed the judges.

HC has asked the woman’s husband to file his reply. His advocate, PD Prasad, argued that the woman was making baseless allegations against him as he has sought divorce from her.

The woman was arrested in this case on June 8. Her counsel, Abha Singh, argued that she had a minor son and a mother to look after.

On April 24, 2021, Singh filed a complaint with Bandra police station alleging that woman has fabricated her doctorate certificate. The 36-year-old woman had filed three complaints against Raut at the Vakola police station between 2013 and 2019 alleging she was being stalked and harassed at Raut’s behest.

The woman had filed a petition before HC seeking quashing of the FIR against her and has sought bail till the petition is decided.

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