Three Mumbai lawyers accused of sexual assault move Bombay High Court seeking CBI investigation
Three Mumbai lawyers accused in the sexual assault case against a female subordinate from the prime accused's law firm, have moved the Bombay High Court seeking to quash the FIR in the case or to transfer the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The lawyers stated that the complainant was herself a habitual offender who had several cases registered against her.
One of the petitioner-lawyer who appeared in person, informed the Bench of Justices PB Varale and NR Borkar that the complainant had succeeded in settling the criminal law into motion repeatedly and gotten many innocent people arrested on the basis of such frivolous complaints.
The lawyer requested the Court to also direct the complainant to file her response to the petition before the next date to avoid any further adjournments.
"This is classic case of hit and run! An opportunity like this is given to seek her response... My Lords will soon find out the kind of ruckus she can create," he submitted.
Pressing for urgent hearing, the lawyer pointed out that after the Sessions Court granted protection, the petitioner lawyers were required and go and sign the "accused register" in the Marin Drive police station.
"We are required to attend the police station and to sign on the register for accused. Mechanically we do this, but for what? What is the crime that we committed?" he said concluding his submission.
The Bench issued notice in the petition to the complainant and the Marine Drive Police Station directing them to serve an advance copy of their reply upon the petitioners in the event any reply is filed.
Along with quashing of the FIR, the petition also sought for the following prayers:
direct CBI investigation into the complaints lodged by the complainant in different States;
register an FIR against the complainant;
direct ED to investigate case against the complainant to find her source of income.
The petition also emphasised that persons like the complainant may get emboldened if they think that they can take recourse to hit and run.
Accountability has to be fixed on such persons who keep lodging false and frivolous complaints at regular intervals, claiming to be victims.
"It is high time that the legislature realise the danger of amending the definition of rape under Section 375 of Indian Penal Code," it was submitted.
The offences alleged in the FIR are Sections 376 (punishment for rape), 354 (outraging modesty of women) 354(A)(i)(ii) (sexual harassment) 380 (theft), 385 (fear of injury for extortion), 500 (defamation), 504 (intentional insult), 506 (criminal intimidation) 509 (insult to modesty of woman), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 406 (criminal breach of trust).
Among the 7 persons arraigned in the FIR are three lawyers - two male lawyers and one female. The male lawyers are accused of committing sexual offences while the female lawyer from the prime accused's law firm is accused of abusing the complainant.