Rape accused DIG Sunil Paraskar may undergo lie detector test
Mumbai Police will carry out a polygraph (lie detector) test on Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Sunil Paraskar, as part of the investigations into the rape case lodged against him by a 27-year-old model.
DIG Sunil Paraskar has claimed the survivor had asked him to arrest model Poonam Pandey. When he refused, he allegedly framed him in the rape case. File pics
His interim protection, stopping the Crime Branch from arresting him in the case, which was originally registered at Malvani police station, has been extended to August 5.
The case, in which the woman had alleged that Paraskar had molested her in a Navi Mumbai apartment when he was additional commissioner (northern region) and also raped her in a Madh Island bungalow, was handed over to the Women’s Cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch.
In the anticipatory bail hearing yesterday, Sessions Court judge Vrushali Joshi extended his interim protection after his lawyer, Rizwan Merchant, argued that he had received a copy of the FIR only a day before and needed to study email exchanges with the survivor that his client had given him.
However, Kalpana Chavan, the public prosecutor who appeared for the police, strongly opposed the extension, saying Paraskar was not cooperating with the officials, and that they had strong grounds to arrest him.
She also said Paraskar could destroy evidence if he was not in custody. Crime Branch teams were on the court premises in case the anticipatory bail application was rejected.
Hundreds of messages
Chavan told the court that Paraskar had shared around 217 messages with the survivor, and that the woman had given her phone to the DIG. Paraskar was not ready to give this phone to the police, she argued.
She said that when Paraskar was called to the Crime Branch twice to record his statement, he was handed over a questionnaire of around 100 questions to fill up and his interrogation was recorded on video.
“Paraskar had not answered a lot of questions in our questionnaire and he has been saying he needs legal opinion to answer them. He is not cooperating with investigations,” Chavan told the court. Meanwhile, another curious angle to the case has cropped up.
Paraskar claimed in court that the survivor had asked him to arrest another model, Poonam Pandey, who was allegedly her professional rival. When he refused to do so, she allegedly framed him. He said he only knew the woman and had taken her to see the flat in Navi Mumbai, and the bungalow on Madh Island for a photo shoot.
“We have applied to the Killa court for Paraskar’s polygraph test. If we are given permission, we will subject him to it to get the truth out,” said a senior officer from the Mumbai police, who is involved in the probe. The police are also likely to record Pandey’s statement to get an idea of how she was connected to the victim or Paraskar.
“We have the emails and messages that were shared between the survivor and Paraskar which the woman gave us. We now want that phone she claims he has taken, and also his own phone and computer to get more information. We have, till date, five witnesses on record who have seen the duo together at Madh and Navi Mumbai. We have also asked for Call Details Records,” the officer added.
'My name is being dragged in'
Asked about the case, model Poonam Pandey said she doesn’t know either the model or the officer. “I don’t know the model or the police officer.
My parents are angry with me because my names is being taken in the case. I have been hearing that the police are likely to question me, but no summons have been sent to me.
If I’m called, I will cooperate with the investigators. I understand that rape is a serious issue and I feel sorry for the girl. But I am also hurt about my name being dragged into it, when I’ve nothing to do with it,” she told mid-day.
Inputs: Bharti Dubey