Pearl V. Puri had allegedly raped the minor while shooting in Naigaon, Vasai, in October 2019 has granted bail on a cash surety of ₹25,000
Pearl V. Puri was granted bail on a cash surety of ₹25,000 by Aditi Kadam, sessions judge, Vasai, on Tuesday. The actor was arrested by the Waliv police on the evening of June 4 for allegedly raping a five-year-old minor at a film set in Naigaon, Vasai, and was remanded to 14-day judicial custody.
Pearl V. Puri had allegedly raped the minor while shooting in Naigaon, Vasai, in October 2019, said Sanjay Kumar Patil, DCP, Zone 2, Mira Bhayandar Vasai Virar (MBVV) Commmissionerate, and was sent to 14-day judicial custody. The victim identified the accused by the character he played in the serial which he was shooting in Naigaon, said the police. “We recorded the statement under Section 164 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973. We have also conducted Covid test on the accused and its report is awaited as per procedure,” said Patil.
The incident allegedly took place when the victim and her mother (also a TV actor) were at a film set in Vasai and Puri, under a pretext, played with the minor and allegedly sexually assaulted her, said the police. The minor’s mother was aware of the incident after the minor complained of pain in her abdomen and private parts. Her father, who had co-starred with Pearl V. Puri, complained to the Versova police as Puri resides in Andheri, and as the incident took place in Vasai, the case was transferred to Waliv police. “After a probe, we found that Puri had a role in the incident and was called to Waliv police station on Friday evening and was arrested,” said Patil.
“We arrested Pearl V. Puri under Section 376 AB (rape of woman under 12 years of age) of IPC and Sections 4, 8, 12, 19 and 21 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act, 2012. He is remanded in judicial custody by Vasai court on Saturday,” added Patil. The accused, hailing from Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, has acted in many TV serials and commercials. He was a part of producer Ekta Kapoor’s popular serial Naagin 3 and also appeared as a guest in Bigg Boss 12 and 13.
Asaram Bapu and the other accused were booked in August 2013 under various sections of the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act, the Juvenile Justice Act, and the Indian Penal Code. According to the prosecution, the 16-year-old girl, whose parents were followers of Asaram, took ill at an ashram in Chhindwara where she studied. Her parents were told that evil spirits had possessed her and they should meet Asaram for a remedy.
The parents took the girl to Asaram’s ashram in Manai, Jodhpur on August 14, 2013 — he was staying there then. On the night of August 15-16, Asaram, it was alleged, told her parents to go away and leave the girl with him in his hut. According to the prosecution, it was then that the crime was committed. Pearl V. Puri was also said to have threatened the girl not to disclose what had happened.
Asaram was arrested in September 2013 and lodged in the Jodhpur jail. His multiple bail applications were rejected by different courts. Later, on 28th of January 2018, he was convicted of this offence along with two of his aides and Madhu Sudan Sharma, Special Judge, SC/ST Cases, handed Asaram a life term while the two aides were sentenced to 20 years each in prison.
Support on Twitter for the Former Self-Styled Godman
Since the Actor Pearl V. Puri and the former Godman had been arrested on similar charges and under the same POCSO Act, as soon as the actor got bail, POCSO Act started trending on twitter. The trend has garnered near about 70k tweets as of now, with people calling for Asaram’s release owing to his ill-health. A majority of these people have also been claiming innocence is favour of the former godman.