Samant's anticipatory hearing next Mon, police press for arrest

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 28 September 2015 19:51 IST

The court today decided to hear anticipatory bail application of senior journalist Rupesh Samant after a week, without granting any interim relief, leaving enough place for police to arrest him.

The women’s police have pressed hard for his custody, while submitting its say before the Mapusa JMFC, where the case was shifted last minute from Panaji, since it’s headed by a lady judge.

Samant is presently facing two serious complaints of sexual harassment of women journalists working under him in a local cable TV channel.

Mapusa JMFC Vijaya Poll fixed 6 October, next Monday, to hear his anticipatory bail application.

The court will also hear his plea on 3 October as the police have not given him the FIR filed against him.

The court had initially fixed the date to hear his anticipatory bail application on 9 October. But Samant’s lawyer Raju Poulekar, who reached late, urged the court to fix it early.

“There was no point in pressing for the interim relief since the police could have arrested him by booking yet another case”, Adv Poulekar told the media.

The police opposed his anticipatory bail, expressing fear that he may tamper with the evidence and also claimed that he is not cooperating with the police but has evaded the summons on three occasions.

Digging out another complaint of a trespass made against him in Margao in 2013, the police have also alleged that Samant is a habitual offender.

In addition, the police have slapped yet another section 67 A of Information Technology Act on him, relating to publishing or transmitting material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form.

It reads as:

“Whoever publishes or transmits or causes to be published or transmitted in the electronic form any material which contains sexually explicit act or conduct shall be punished on first conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years and with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees and in the event of second or subsequent conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years and also with fine which may extend to ten lakh rupees.”

Meanwhile, a delegation of the Goa Union of journalists today called on Director General of Police T N Mohan and urged him to treat the case against Samant with urgency and taking care to see that the identities of the victims are not disclosed.

The DGP has also assured that if anyone is involved in threatening witnesses or coercing them they will be booked and if necessary arrested, stated the GUJ press note.

DIGs V Ranganathan and Sunil Garg were present for the meeting. 

The GUJ also submitted a memorandum to the Goa Women’s Commission, urging to take cognizance of the case. 

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