Bhandarkar furnishes bond in rape case, files appeal in HC

Bhandarkar furnishes bond in rape case, files appeal in HC

Magistrate B B Pantawene of Andheri Court, while accepting the bond, asked Bhandarkar to deposit his passport in the court and warned him not to attempt influencing the witnesses.

The court is expected to commit the case to sessions court for trial on November 29, said Preeti's lawyer Sushan Kunjuraman.

In the magistrate's court this morning, as Bhandarkar did not appear, Preeti's lawyer urged the court to issue a non-bailable warrant against him. However, Bhandarkar arrived later and produced a copy of anticipatory bail obtained by him seven years ago. The court then asked him to furnish a bond.

In a related development, the Bombay High Court, hearing the appeal filed by Bhandarkar against the lower court's initiation of process against him in the rape case, issued notice to Preeti and the prosecution. They have to file replies by December 5.

On September 19 this year, the magistrate had taken cognisance of Preeti's complaint and issued process against Bhandarkar after observing that prima facie a case was made out.

The filmmaker has challenged the order before Bombay High Court.

In 2004, Preeti had approached Versova police, accusing Bhandarkar of rape.

According to her, Bhandarkar promised to marry her and to cast her in his films, but later he went back on his promise.

However, in May 2007, Versova police filed a 'B' summary report (which means police found the complaint to be false/ malicious) saying there was no evidence. Jain then moved lower court, seeking probe, and the court granted the plea.

The police again filed a `B' summary report, stating that the case against Bhandarkar was false. However, the the magistrate issued process against him this September, saying there was a prima facie case.

In the High Court, Bhandarkar's contention is that no witnesses questioned by the police had supported Preeti's version, and the magistrate passed the order of issuing process solely on the basis her statement.

The petition further says the court did not consider the fact that Preeti had sent a legal notice to another person from the film industry, containing similar allegations, which should put a question mark on her credibility.

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