The Bombay High Court on Monday granted anticipatory bail to actor-producer Rahul Raj Singh, accused of abetting the suicide of his girlfriend, television actress Pratyusha Banerjee.
Pratyusha Banerjee and Rahul Raj Singh
Justice Mridula Bhatkar also heard a three-and-half minute audio clip of the last telephonic conversation between Rahul Raj and Pratyusha, an hour before she hanged herself at her suburban home on April 1.
Granting anticipatory bail, Justice Bhatkar observed that there was no prima facie evidence to show that the accused "instigated or intended" the suicide.
She was hearing an application filed by Rahul Raj seeking pre-arrest bail after the sessions court rejected his plea.
The court directed Rahul Raj to appear three times a week for two weeks at the Bangur Nagar police station, which is investigating the case.
Justice Bhatkar further observed that from witness statements, it was clear that harassment and disputes existed between them -- Rahul Raj and Pratyusha -- but there was nothing prima facie on record to show abetment.
She said harassment or dispute could be a reason for a person to dislike the other person and take steps to end his/her life, but for proving the abetment, there should be evidence to show instigation, provocation and intention.
The court ruled that after perusing all the facts in the case, police could investigate it without any custodial interrogation of the accused (Rahul Raj).
Arguing for pre-arrest bail, Rahul Raj's lawyer Abaad Ponda said both he and Pratyusha were happy with each other and had partied together the night before she committed suicide.
That day (April 1) around 3.30 p.m., Rahul Raj had gone out to get lunch. Pratyusha called him at 3.43 p.m. and he rebuked her for drinking during the day, and said he would return home soon.
He also cited the autopsy report which indicates that Pratyusha committed suicide.
Famed for her role of the adult Anandi in tele-serial "Balika Vadhu", Pratyusha was found hanging in her Goregaon flat by Rahul Raj on the evening of April 1.
Two days later, following a complaint by her parents, Rahul Raj was charged with abetment to suicide and other charges by police.