Mumbai Observing that there was a possibility of love affair between a noted cosmetic surgeon and a television actress, a sessions court has granted anticipatory bail or pre arrest bail to the doctor. Sessions judge Kalpana S. Hore granted pre arrest bail to Dr Viral Desai who was accused of rape by a 43-year-old television actress observing, “I have gone through the F.I.R. as well as photographs, WhatsApp messages, CCTV footage and booking receipt, it shows that possibility cannot be ruled out the complainant and applicant /accused having love affair.”
Denying the charges, doctor has said that he was in a consensual relationship with the actress for over one-and-half-years. In his anticipatory bail application, Dr Desai had submitted ample evidence in the form of photographs and WhatsApp chats showing that he and the complainant were in a consensual relationship since last few years.
Even after the alleged incident of rape, the complainant took the doctor for dinner from his clinic and continued to have chats with him on a regular basis. This was all recorded in the CCTV cameras at the doctor’s clinic and at the restaurant where they had dinner. The relevant footage was submitted before the sessions court.
Dr Desai’s counsel Abad Ponda pointed out to the court that the complainant is a 42-year-old actress who is going through a troubled marriage and is amidst a divorce case in the family court. There cannot have been a relationship between the two on the basis of a promise of marriage since the complainant was already married, argued Ponda.
It is interesting to note that earlier the actress has filed several police complaints against her estranged husband and a photographer.
Dr Desai’s troubles started a few days before the FIR was filed against him by the actress. Her advocate Satish Agarwal approached doctor’s advocate Manish Acharya with extortion demands by threatening to file an FIR against the doctor. The meeting took place in Agarwal’s office. Acharya has filed a complaint with the Santacruz police requesting the investigating authority to collect CCTV footage of August 11 and 12, 2019 from the office of advocate Agarwal wherein he’s seen demanding money. Advocate Acharya had also filed a petition with the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa pointing out gross misconduct on the part on the complainant’s advocate.
Parvez Memon, senior partner of MZM Legal which represented Dr Desai, said, “We are happy with the order of the Anticipatory bail passed by the court. This is triumph of truth and justice over falsehood and malice. The so-called victim has resorted to abuse the process of law with ulterior motives which was exposed by us in court through cogent evidence suggesting consensual relationship. It is unfortunate that in today’s age some media houses pronounce the accused guilty before being proven so in courts of law and by the time he gets absolved irreparable damage is already caused to his reputation and career. This trend needs to be curbed through due process of law.” On September 3, a City Civil court had restrained the television actress from publishing defamatory material on social media.
However, she created a false page on social media and was using it to publish defamatory and intimidatory material against the doctor. Dr Desai learnt about this after his friends informed about the same after having received friend’s request from the said social media page.
Dr Desai has filed a complaint with the cyber police, on September 9, 2019, alleging extortion, defamation and criminal intimidation by the television actress. A city civil court had also restrained a leading city tabloid from publishing defamatory articles against the doctor on a plea filed by Dr Desai.