Television actor Pearl V Puri was granted bail on a cash surety of ₹25,000 by Aditi Kadam, sessions judge, Vasai, on Tuesday. The actor was arrested by the Waliv police on the evening of June 4 for allegedly raping a five-year-old minor at a film set in Naigaon, Vasai, and was remanded to 14-day judicial custody.
Pearl V Puri will be released from Thane jail on late Tuesday, said his counsel Chetan Patil. “We do not know on what grounds the bail has been granted to my client as we are awaiting the final order,” the lawyer said.
In the meantime, the lawyer of the complainant, the father of the victim, will be appearing before the Bombay High Court in a day or two to challenge the Vasai sessions court’s order. The complainant’s lawyer said that the police were given no chance to investigate the case.
Puri had allegedly raped the minor while shooting in Naigaon, Vasai, in October 2019, said Sanjay Kumar Patil, DCP, Zone 2, Mira Bhayandar Vasai Virar (MBVV) Commmissionerate, and was sent to 14-day judicial custody. The victim identified the accused by the character he played in the serial which he was shooting in Naigaon, said the police. “We recorded the statement under Section 164 of Code of Criminal Procedure(CrPC), 1973. We have also conducted Covid test on the accused and its report is awaited as per procedure,” said Patil.MORE FROM THIS SECTION
The defence counsel for Puri said before the court that the victim did not mention the sexual assault but the police have the medical report of the victim and it is on record, added Patil.
Sources said that the father of the victim in October 2019 had recorded the victim’s statement and made a video recording as well, which he submitted to the Versova police, while the FIR was filed.
The incident allegedly took place when the victim and her mother (also a TV actor) were at a film set in Vasai and Puri, under a pretext, played with the minor and allegedly sexually assaulted her, said the police. The minor’s mother was aware of the incident after the minor complained of pain in her abdomen and private parts. Her father, who had co-starred with Puri, complained to the Versova police as Puri resides in Andheri, and as the incident took place in Vasai, the case was transferred to Waliv police. “After a probe, we found that Puri had a role in the incident and was called to Waliv police station on Friday evening and was arrested,” said Patil.
“We arrested Puri under Section 376 AB (rape of woman under 12 years of age) of IPC and Sections 4, 8, 12, 19 and 21 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act, 2012. He is remanded in judicial custody by Vasai court on Saturday,” added Patil.
The accused, hailing from Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, has acted in many TV serials and commercials. He was a part of producer Ekta Kapoor’s popular serial Naagin 3 and also appeared as a guest in Bigg Boss 12 and 13.