Pics by Rons Bantwal
Mumbai, Jun 30: The alleged beau of Viveka Babajee, Gautam Vora, who sought anticipatory bail following the model's death, can breathe easy for now. A city sessions court on Tuesday said there was no question of giving anticipatory bail as the police had not yet registered a case of abetting suicide against him.
However, while disposing of the bail plea, the court restrained the police from arresting Vora on any charges of abetment to suicide without giving him 72-hour notice.
"The Khar police shall not arrest him under Section 306 of the IPC for allegedly abetting the suicide of Viveka Babajee without giving him 72 hours notice," said M L Tahaliyani, principal judge of the sessions court, who added that court holidays were not to be counted in the 72 hours.
The court, in its order, said that circumstances show that, as of now, the police have no intention of arresting Vora, but Vora's apprehensions are not ill-founded due to various media reports. The court added that an inquiry as to whether it was a case of abetment is on and hence Vora's apprehensions are valid.
Dressed in a white shirt, and without his mother Madhavi, Vora broke into a smile when the hearing was over. When asked if he was relieved, he said, "Yes, of course." He, however, declined to talk further, adding that he has been advised by his lawyers not to do so at present.
Public prosecutor R V Kini said that Vora—who was questioned by police for two hours on Monday evening and three hours on Tuesday morning—had given "vague" answers and needed to be questioned further. Kini said that Vora should be instructed to not leave Mumbai. He asked for the hearing to be adjourned for a week. The judge said, "I cannot impose such restrictions and if you do not want to arrest him at this point, why should I keep the ABA (bail plea) pending?"
The court directed Vora to extend his cooperation to the police and present himself whenever called for questioning. His lawyer, senior counsel Shirish Gupte, while stating that Vora was an honourable, well-educated man, assured the court that he would extend his full cooperation. He added that Vora wouldn't leave the city for a week.
When asked to elaborate on Vora's "vague" answers, Kini told reporters outside the court that, "He is maintaining that she was a friend. He said the same things that were in the bail plea. He hasn't said anything new."