Rape Accused Journalist Granted Interim Protection From Arrest
The 28-year-old news anchor has been on the run since an FIR was registered against him on 23 February.
Mumbai-based journalist Varun Hiremath was granted interim protection from arrest by the Delhi High Court on Friday, 9 April, on the condition that the accused joins the police investigation as and when directed.
The 28-year-old, an anchor with a leading TV news channel, has been on the run since an FIR was registered against him on 23 February, for allegedly raping and assaulting a 22-year-old woman at a five-star hotel in Delhi.
Justice Mukta Gupta issued notices and sought responses of Delhi Police and the complainant woman on the accused’s plea seeking anticipatory bail.
Previously Filed Anticipatory Bail Plea
Hiremath’s anticipatory bail application in a Delhi court was earlier rejected on 17 March. The counsel for the accused man had claimed before the court that there had been a history of previous sexual relationship between the accused and the complainant, reported PTI.
The lower court had observed that consent cannot be implied even if the complainant had previous experiences with the accused.
Following the anticipatory bail rejection, Hiremath approached the Delhi High Court.
What Is the Case
The FIR states that the woman met the accused at a café in Khan Market, after which Hiremath asked her to his hotel room, where the alleged incident took place.
The 22-year-old told The Print, “I have known him for the last three years, so I had gone to meet him, not knowing that he would do something like that.”
The FIR against Hiremath, was registered under IPC Sections 376 (punishment for offence of rape), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult modesty of a woman) at the Chanakyapuri Police Station.
As per the police, Hiremath switched off his phone and became untraceable after he was served a notice and the police tried to call him for questioning.
The Delhi Police had earlier issued a lookout circular against the anchor, barring him from leaving the country and a reward for his arrest might also be announced.
The Print’s report dated 19 March, quoted DCP (New Delhi district) Eish Singhal as saying, “Raids are being conducted at all places where the possibility of his presence can be there.”
The matter was listed for further hearing on 16 April.
(With inputs from PTI and The Print.)
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