The Bombay High Court on Monday withdrew the protection that it had given to the survivor in the rape case involving former minister of state and Ex-MLA Laxman Dhobale. The state told the court around R1 crore was spent on the security given to the woman and her three family members since September 2014. The court observed that if she needs security she should approach the police commissioner, but the security would have to be paid for. The Crime Branch has claimed that the allegations of the woman against Dhobale are baseless.
A bench of Justices Ranjit More and V L Achaliya, hearing the 42-year-old woman's petition, which had been converted from a letter she had sent to the then Chief Justice Mohit, had directed the police to give her and her family security, and the case was handed to the Mumbai Crime Branch.
Now, the Crime Branch has filed a B Summary report claiming that the allegations of the woman against Dhobale, accusing him of rape, are baseless. It was also brought to the notice of the court by special public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde, that the survivor also had a cheating case registered against her, of misappropriation of R80 lakh, and that she had been granted interim relief from arrest in the matter.
'Survivor was assaulted'
Abad Ponda, the woman's lawyer, said “She had registered three non-cognisable offences and one FIR against unknown people for threatening and assaulting her and withdrawing security could be dangerous for her life.”
He also told the court that the cheating case was registered against her by relatives of Dhobale after the rape case was registered against him. However, the court observed that in the assaults cases, an A Summary report was filed by the police, that claimed the FIR was neither true nor false.
“Why did she leave without security when she was already given security,” the bench observed, as she was attacked after the HC granted her security.
While withdrawing the security of the survivor, the court said that around eight constables were posted 24 hours outside her house and Rs 1 crore has been spent on it. Now the survivor is also an accused in the case regarding cheating at Shahu Shikshan Sanstha's Nalanda Law college at Borivli West, where she once worked as a clerk and Dhobale is the director. “If at all she needs security she should approach the Police Commissioner and he can grant her security taking everything into consideration, but the security might be paid for,” observed the bench.
The police told the court that the cost of providing security is around Rs 1,40,000 for a month for 24 hours per police personnel, and that the survivor and her family members were given it for around 1.5 years.