Guwahati: Guwahati: A lower court on Friday sent the Padma Shri awardee Uddhab Kumar Bharali to 14 day long judicial custody over a case of alleged sexual assault of a minor girl.
Notably, the Gauhati High Court on Thursday rejected the Bharali's bail plea after which he surrendered before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Lakhimpur district of Assam which sent him to 14-day judicial custody.
Bharali, on Thursday, has alleged that he has been a victim of a conspiracy and he intends to fight legally. He had stated that he would appear in a local court in the Lakhimpur district on Friday.
The court heard Bharali's anticipatory bail appeal on Thursday and cancelled the interim anticipatory bail granted to the entrepreneur by a vacation bench on December 28 last year.
"...the petitioner is found not entitled to the grant of privilege of pre-arrest bail. Accordingly, his prayer stands rejected. The interim protection granted to the petitioner, vide order dated 28.12.2021, stands vacated. The anticipatory bail application stands disposed of accordingly," the order said.
After hearing the arguments from the petitioner's and state's attorneys, Justice Sarma stated that interrogating Bharali in custody is "necessary" for the investigation of the case, given the charges in the FIR as well as statements from the victim and witnesses.
''This court would like to point out that, in terms of the victim's and other witnesses' testimonies, the statements recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which was recorded under oath by a competent magistrate, weighed more in considering this case," the order Justice Sarma added.
Bharali filed the anticipatory bail petition on December 23, following the filing of an FIR at the North Lakhimpur police station under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The High court stated that the victim has not only said that Bharali committed "sexual intercourse" on her, but has also "very specifically and chronologically" detailed the sequence of events and the way in which the offence was perpetrated by the accused petitioner.