HC asks police not to arrest rape accused doc till June 11
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today directed the police not to arrest a city-based doctor, accused of raping his 27-year-old patient suffering from tuberculosis, till June 11 when his application seeking to submit his blood and semen samples to police will be heard.
Dr Rustom Soonawala (44) approached the High Court yesterday after the sessions court rejected his application in which he had stated that he was ready to give his blood and semen samples provided he was not arrested at the hospital.
Advocate Aabad Ponda, appearing for Soonawala, argued that under section 53(A) of the Criminal Procedure Code, a rape accused has the right to submit himself to the police for medical examinations.
"The police can wait to arrest the doctor till the reports of the medical tests are out. The commission of the offence of rape will be established if the medical tests are positive with the tests conducted on the victim. Only an innocent man will agree to undergo such tests in a rape case," Ponda argued.
Prosecutor Prajakta Shinde, however, opposed the application and said if permission is given in one case, every other accused would seek the same relief.
Justice A M Thipsay, however, raised query on why the police was refusing to conduct medical tests on a rape accused. "What is the harm if the medical examination is done? If the report is positive then he (doctor) will only face the consequence. The prosecution has not given a satisfactory reason for not taking the accused person's medical test," the court said.
Justice Thipsay suggested the police to get the medical tests done on the accused and the report to be placed before the sessions court which will on May 31 hear the anticipatory bail application filed by Soonawala.
However, the police refused to accept the suggestion following which the High Court placed Soonawala's application for hearing on June 11.
"The applicant (Soonawala) shall not be arrested till June 11. He shall report to the Khar police station today for interrogations and medical tests if the police wishes to conduct," Justice Thipsay said.
Soonawala is accused of raping his patient on May 17 under the pretext of examining her at his Khar clinic while her husband and his receptionist were waiting outside the examination room.