Mumbai Crime: 'He forced himself on me in changing room of clinic'

Updated: Aug 25, 2019, 07:11 IST | Diwakar Sharma | Mumbai

40-year-old television actress accuses Dr Viral Desai, cosmetic and plastic surgeon with celebrity clientele, of first botching up her face, then assaulting her on August 9 at his suburban clinic

Dr Viral Desai told mid-day the allegations are false. The Santa Cruz police said they would make an arrest only after verifying the charges
Dr Viral Desai told mid-day the allegations are false. The Santa Cruz police said they would make an arrest only after verifying the charges

A 40-year-old actress has accused Santa Cruz-based cosmetic surgeon Dr Viral Desai of rape, saying he assaulted her when she went to his clinic for a consultation on August 9. The actress, who filed a case at Santa Cruz police station on August 12, was undergoing mesotherapy—a technique to rejuvenate and tighten skin—at Desai's clinic Cosmetic Plastic Surgeries and Laser Super-specialties (CPLSS) from 2015.

"I started consulting Dr. Desai in 2015, however, last year, he started making sexual advances towards me each time I visited his clinic. He would remark on my beauty and expressed wishes to have a sexual relationship with me," the actress told mid-day. She added that she continued to consult him "because he is one of Mumbai's top plastic surgeons". "I ignored [his remarks] and maintained a doctor-patient equation with him," she added.

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The complainant says that she visited Desai's clinic on August 7 for a mesotherapy session, which lasts for 15 minutes. "When I reached home, I noticed a swelling on my face. But it was late and I had a full day's shoot the next day. I concealed my face from the director," she said. The day after, she paid another visit to Desai's clinic where, she says, she was made to sit for hours. She had walked in at 6.30 pm after taking an appointment.

Dr Viral Desai
Dr Viral Desai

"I was asked to wait for a few hours at his clinic. He told me that it would take time to treat my swollen face and he would do it only after seeing other patients. When all the patients had left—by this time a few hours had passed—Desai took me to a changing room on pretext of giving me treatment and forced himself upon me," the actress said.

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It took her three days to muster courage and file a case against him. A case now has been registered at the Santa Cruz West police station under sections 376 (rape), 504 (intention to insult), 323 (physical assault), 506 (criminal intimidation) of Indian Penal Code. "But he has not been arrested so far," she said. Her counsel, advocate Satish Agarwal said, "The survivor approached me a day after the incident seeking my advice. I suggested that she rush to the cops. I also called the police station and informed the duty officer."

Desai is a plastic surgeon, and hair transplant surgeon with over 19 years of experience. Speaking to mid-day, he said, "This is a false and frivolous case. I have been given interim relief from the court and the matter is subjudice. I have full faith in the judiciary and that justice will prevail." However, Agarwal says no interim relief has been given.

Desai, who has treated actors such as Gaurav Gera, Raj Babbar and Govinda, has been accused of sexual assault previously. On August 21, 2017, a medical practitioner registered a molestation case against him at Santa Cruz police station. "I had visited his clinic with my husband the first time," she said, without divulging what the treatment was for. "At the second visit, he touched me inappropriately. I called the cops on the spot, but he was not arrested," she told mid-day.

"He secured bail and was never arrested in my case." While the molestation case is under trial, but the medical practitioner, said, "Dr Desai has applied to quash the case registered against him citing that the allegations made are baseless. I am a medical practitioner and I very well know if the touch given to a patient is appropriate or inappropriate." A senior police officer said they are verifying the veracity of allegations made by the TV actress. "Investigations are underway," the officer told mid-day.

Also Read: Mumbai: 12-year-old sexually assaulted at Sion Hospital

Inputs by Letty Mariam Abraham

Muddied past

A medical practitioner had accused Desai of touching her inappropriately during her second visit to his clinic in August 2017

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