Suspended Thane District Central Jail’s superintendent Hiralal Jadhav, accused of molestation by a lady constable, filed an anticipatory bail application before the district Court.
Police, on August 31, had registered a case of molestation under section 354 of IPC against Jadhav.
Earlier in the afternoon, CM Devendra Fadnavis, who has Home Ministry portfolio, ordered his suspension with the immediate effect.
District Judge M M Walimohhmed adjourned the hearing, calling for the prosecution’s reply.
Advocate Anil Navle, Jadhav’s lawyer, argued that the offence was bailable. He also contended that there was no case of sexual harassment, as reported by the media.
Jadhav was framed up because he took action against some erring jail staff, he said.
The complainant police-woman and Jadhav had had a dispute over non-allotment of a housing quarters to her, the lawyer alleged.
Meanwhile, an inquiry by the prisons department under Rajvardhan Sinha, Inspector General (IG) of Police, was initiated and a report was filed on Thursday evening. As evidence, the complainant has turned in WhatsApp messages and audio clips that Jadhav sent her, despite her protestations. Interestingly, Jadhav has previously been suspended for 18 months over similar behaviour.
The complaint under Sections 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and 354 A (physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and explicit sexual overtures) was registered with the Thane police on Wednesday night. On Thursday, Jadhav applied for anticipatory bail.