Mumbai: In Pratyusha Banerjee’s last frantic phone call to her boyfriend, Rahul Raj Singh, she accuses him of cheating on her and separating her from her parents, revealed the prosecutor to the Bombay High Court yesterday. The HC granted anticipatory bail to Rahul, who is accused of abetting the suicide of his girlfriend and TV actress Pratyusha Banerjee.
The prosecution asked for his custody, stating that he was also being investigated for murder, but the court turned down the request after observing that Rahul was yet to be charged with murder.
Special Public Prosecutor Nilesh Pawaskar told the court, “The investigations are presently revolving around 306 of IPC (abetment) and 302 of IPC (murder). We suspect Rahul had much more to do than abetment but only his custodial interrogation can tell us more.”
However, Justice Mrudula Bhatkar observed, “If you have evidence, why don’t you register a murder case against Rahul? Why do you need his custodial interrogation to register a murder case? Don’t you register murder cases when the accused is absconding? If you register a murder case, I will look at the matter from another point of view and will not grant Rahul bail or any relief.”
Pawaskar added, “Rahul has been impressing girls by telling them his mother is an MLA, he owns a casino in Sri Lanka and around 150 acres of land at his native place. Pratyusha, along with several other girls, was a victim of his grand statements.”
The prosecutor also submitted before Justice Bhatkar a DVD that held the last conversation between Pratyusha and Rahul, who were living together. The conversation took place on April 1, around 3.43 pm, not long before Pratyusha’s death.
However, Rahul’s lawyer Aabad Ponda argued, “Several court judgements state that merely speaking on the last phone call does not amount to abetment. Rahul and Pratyusha were happy in their relationship. To prove abetment, there should be instigation, provocation and one should prove that there was a direct act that led to the suicide.”
The judge concurred and noted that the prosecution had failed to show that Rahul committed any intentional act to provoke Pratyusha to suicide, and fights or torture cannot amount to abetment of suicide. The court ordered Rahul to continue to visit the Bangur Nagar police station three days a week for a fortnight, and then as per the police’s requirements.