The sessions court on Tuesday granted interim protection from arrest to the senior NCP leader and former Maharashtra minister Laxmanrao Dhobale, who is facing a case of rape and criminal intimidation.
“Dhobale has been granted interim protection till October 28,” said public prosecutor Nilima Kasture.
The NCP leader approached the special court for women’s cases seeking pre-arrest bail through his lawyers Ashok Sarogi and Priyatosh Tiwari.
He contended that the alleged incident dated back to 2011 but the victim filed a police complaint only this year.
“The incident first took place in 2011 but even after that she continued to work with him,” said advocate Sarogi, arguing before the judge Vrushali Joshi.
The complainant was a site supervisor but she started taking money from students promising admission in a college run by Dhobale’s trust, the lawyer alleged.
“She absconded after taking the money and the college management lodged a police complaint against her and her husband….Some students too filed complaints,” Sarogi said.
Dhobale has filed a nomination from the Solapur constituency for the next month’s Assembly elections, he had to campaign, and he apprehended arrest, the lawyer informed the court.
Prosecutor Kasture said the first medical examination of the victim was not conclusive and she was undergoing further tests.
Earlier this month Mumbai police registered a case against Dhobale under sections 376 (rape), 323 (causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code upon the woman’s complaint.