The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sarabhai gets bail breather

Ahmedabad, Oct. 29: Danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was today granted conditional bail on a personal bond and surety of Rs 2 lakh by a sessions court.

Sarabhai, the co-director of Darpana Academy, had moved the court last Friday seeking anticipatory bail in a case of alleged fraud filed against her by former student Manushi Shah.

While granting bail, additional sessions judge P.B. Desai asked Sarabhai to surrender her passport. She was also told to be present at Naranpura police station where an FIR against her was filed. She was also instructed not to leave the state without informing the police , cooperate with them and appear before the court whenever required. Police, however, can seek her remand.

Special public prosecutor J.M. Panchal, while opposing the bail application, termed the offence very “serious” and involving “human trafficking”. He said Sarabhai had indulged in the activity in a systematic manner and had taken persons not involved with the Darpana Academy troupe abroad in the past. He also added that these persons are now settled abroad.

Panchal said Shah was to be taken to the US as a regular member of the academy though she was not a regular dancer or member there.

Sarabhai’s advocate R.K. Shah, however, said prima facie no case could be made out against her. Most of the money taken from the students — Rs 3.30 lakh — and mentioned in the FIR was returned. Only a non-refundable amount of Rs 20,000 was not returned. He added that the complainant had agreed in writing to this condition.

Another accused in the case, Dhimant Upadhyay, who the police allege was an agent in the racket also sought anticipator bail on Tuesday. It will be taken up for hearing on November 4.

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