The Supreme Court granted anticipatory bail to Indian Youth Congress chairman Srinivas BV in a sexual harassment case on May 17.
Srinivas was arrested on April 22 for beating and abusing former state Youth Congress president Angkita Dutta. The complaint was made at the Dispur police station under provisions of the Indian Penal Code dealing with molestation, assault, and words or gestures designed to offend a woman's modesty.
Srinivas was also charged with violating Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, which prohibits the publication or transmission of obscene content in electronic form.
The Gauhati High Court denied his motion to suppress the first information report on May 4. The High Court had also denied his request for anticipatory relief, so he appealed to the Supreme Court.
The FIR was filed against the Youth Congress leader after Dutta accused him of psychologically abusing and discriminating against her for six months on April 18. She further claimed that she was advised to remain silent and that no investigation into her charges was launched. Dutta was dismissed from the outfit's main membership for six years on April 22 for suspected anti-party conduct.
On Wednesday, a division bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sanjay Karol observed that the alleged event occurred between February 24 and 26 in Raipur, and the complaint was filed in Assam in April.
“Prima facie, taking into consideration the delay of almost two months in lodging the FIR, will entitle the petitioner to interim protection,” the Supreme Court said. “We direct that in the event of arrest, the petitioner shall be released on anticipatory bail on furnishing solvent sureties to the sum of Rs 50,000.”
Senior attorney Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Srinivas, informed the court that Dutta's tweets prior to filing the case were against alleged prejudice in the party. He also stated that she had given six media interviews before to filing the lawsuit, but made no complaints of sexual harassment.
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