Baghmara MLA Dhullu Mahto denied bail in rape case
The district and sessions court on Wednesday denied bail to Baghmara MLA Dhullu Mahto, lodged in Dhanbad divisional jail since May 11, in a case of rape and outraging the modesty of women.
The BJP MLA was on June 8 granted bail in connection with another case of rioting, wrongful restraint and criminal intimidation.
Judge Rajeev Kumar Sinha rejected Mahto’s bail petition after the court reserved the verdict for Wednesday.
Appearing for Mahto, a team of defence lawyers led by senior advocate S.N. Mukherjee and comprising Radheyshyam Goswami and N.K. Savid pleaded before the court that several cases, including the rape case, against the MLA was part of a political conspiracy. The lawyers also charged that the woman, who lodged the rape case, is an accused in several cases of cheating.
The prosecution, led by public prosecutor B.D. Pandey, vehemently opposed the bail petition, claiming that the charges are grave in nature.
Kamla Devi, former president of women’s wing of Katras Unit of the BJP, in her complaint said that Mahto had called her on November 15, 2018, and asked her to meet him at the guest house of Hindustan Zinc factory at Tundu in Baghmara a week later. At the spot, Mahto tried to grab her in presence of BJP Katras unit worker Anand Sharma and one Ayodhya Thakur, the complaint said, adding that Devi was later raped. In the complaint, Devi said she informed her husband Rajeev Kumar about the incident after somehow coming out of the guest house.
Notably, Dhanbad police had on October 4, 2019, lodged an FIR against the legislator after Devi moved the high court raising the issue of delay in lodging an FIR on her complaint. The high court on August 28, 2019, directed the Dhanbad police to lodge the FIR against the Baghmara MLA and also sought the reasons behind the delay.
The statement of Kamla Devi under section 164 of CrPC was recorded before the court of sub-divisional judicial magistrate Shikha Agarwal on February 15 this year.
The anticipatory bail petition of the MLA in the same case was earlier rejected by the court of the sub-divisional judicial magistrate on March 5. The court had also issued an arrest warrant against him.