Single-judge Anil Kilor granted bail to the doctor after noting that the survivor, who was receiving a therapy for pain in abdomen, did not immediately inform her family about the doctor’s conduct.

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court recently granted bail to a doctor accused of sexually assaulting a minor girl and inappropriately touching her during therapy sessions [Dr Vijay Bhaiyalal Dahale vs State of Maharashtra].

Single-judge Anil Kilor granted bail to the doctor after noting that the survivor, who was receiving a therapy for pain in abdomen, did not immediately inform her family about the doctor’s conduct.

“After going through the complaint and the allegations, prima facie, it appears that immediately after eight days of therapy, the behaviour of the applicant was found to be improper. However, she did not make complaint to her mother or the sister or any other family members and continued the treatment. It is her allegations that everyday she faced such type of behaviour of the applicant and lastly on August 13, she disclosed it to her sister,” the judge said in the order passed on October 7.

The bench noted that the accused doctor was running his clinic for the last two decade and had never been accused of such conduct.

“The applicant is running his centre for last about 20 years and there is not a single complaint against the applicant in last 20 years. Furthermore, the victim did not disclose the improper behaviour of the applicant to her family members immediately after the first incident but, continued the treatment for long time,” the Court underscored.

Thus, it creates doubt about the veracity of the allegations, the order stated.

The Court further noted the fact that the sister of the victim used to be present at the clinic during the therapy.

To further buttress its finding, the single-judge referred to the photographs of the cabin, where the alleged incident took place.

“It was a small cabin in which there were two stretchers like beds in it with curtains in between table and chair of the doctor and the said stretchers like beds. It can further be seen that there is no separate room or chamber for therapy. In the circumstances, the prosecution story prima facie appears to be improbable.”

Advocate RP Joshi appeared for the accused. Additional Public Prosecutor SD Sirpurkar represented the State. Advocate AM Balpande represented the survivor.

The bench was hearing a bail application filed by the accused doctor, who has been in custody since August 15.

As per the prosecution story, the victim was preparing for some sports and during the regular practice, she experienced some pain in her abdomen and thus visited the clinic of the accused doctor. He checked her and advised a month’s therapy.

The victim alleged that during the therapy session, the accused touched her inappropriately and kept moving his hands over her private parts. She claimed that this happened almost daily. However, she did not disclose the same to anyone in her family and mustered courage to inform about the same to her sister on August 13, after which a First Information Report was lodged against the doctor under sections 354 (outraging modesty), 376 (3) (rape of minor) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other relevant provisions of the Protection Of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

However, the bench found that there was prima facie case made out by the accused for grant of bail.

The court while noting the submission of the prosecutor and the victim’s counsel that very serious allegations are levelled against the accused, opined that his further custody is not required.

It, therefore, granted him bail on surety of ₹25,000.

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