State bars cops from appealing against top cop Sunil Paraskar's rape acquittal

The Mumbai Crime Branch suffered a major setback on Monday when the state home department rejected its plea to appeal the discharge of Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) and former Deputy Inspector General of Police Sunil Paraskar in a rape case.

The department has not stated its grounds for refusal of the plea.

Paraskar had been booked in 2014 on charges of raping a 25-year-old model and was summarily suspended. On December 4 last year, the Dindoshi Sessions court, however, discharged him of all charges. The Mumbai Crime Branch then decided to appeal this order in the Bombay High Court and sought permission to do so from the Mumbai Police and the home department. In January, Paraskar was reinstated and a month later, promoted as the additional commissioner of police (traffic).

The case
In her complaint filed in July 2014, the model said she had met Paraskar with regard to a case in 2012, and that he had sexually assaulted her on two occasions in December 2013 under the pretext of helping her out with the case. The Malwani police registered an FIR against Paraskar under Sections 376 (2) (rape by a police officer), 376 C (intercourse by superintendent of jail or remand home) and 354 (D) (stalking) of the IPC.

The case was transferred to the women’s cell, which filed a 724-page chargesheet against Paraskar on May 13 last year. The chargesheet had the statements of 54 witnesses, including the caretaker of a bungalow, the driver of a police van and the model’s sister. The Dindoshi Sessions court discharged Paraskar of all charges last December, prompting the Crime Branch to seek an appeal of the order.

No reason given
“We wrote to the home department (comprising law and judiciary departments) that falls under Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in January after getting the approval of all senior officers of Mumbai Police, who found merit in the appeal. But on Monday, we were told that our appeal to go to the Bombay High Court has been rejected by the home department,” said a senior officer of the Crime Branch.

The home department sent just a two-line letter to the Crime Branch, with no mention of the reason for turning down its appeal. All it said was that the Mumbai Police couldn’t go to the HC.

The rejection of the appeal is a big win for Paraskar. “There was a sword hanging above his head when the Crime Branch sought an appeal of the court order. The victim is also in no mood to appeal against the sessions court’s order,” a source said.

Responding to the move, Paraskar, who is set to retire in October, said, “I am not aware of the decision taken at the Mantralaya-level.”

Quick recall

July: Sunil Paraskar is booked for the rape of a model

Aug: Paraskar gets pre-arrest bail 
>> A preliminary inquiry is ordered against him

May: A 724-page chargesheet is filed against Paraskar
Dec: Dindoshi Sessions court discharges him of all charges

Jan: Mumbai Crime Branch approaches the home department seeking permission to appeal against the order in the HC 
>> Paraskar is reinstated in the police force

Feb: He is promoted as the Addl Commissioner of Police (traffic)
May: Crime Branch’s appeal rejected

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