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Odishatv Bureau

Cuttack: In a major relief to casting couch accused Papu Pom Pom alias Tattwa Prakash Satpathy, the high Court granted bail to him and his associate Pradipta Swain today.

The court also directed the accused duo not to threaten the witnesses and destroy evidence. They will also cooperate with the police in the investigation, the court said.

Debasnana Das, Papu’s counsel said, “We presented an argument in the court the case is mysterious due to the silence of the victim for more than one and half years about the matter. Even she did not tell anything to her parents. Besides, the statements of her parents were not recorded under the 164 CrpC. As no criminal cases are pending against Papu earlier and he is a reputed artiste, we pleaded for a bail to him. There is no chance of escaping the law.

"The HC has not imposed any strict conditions for the bail. The actor was given bail on a bail bond of Rs 20,000 with two sureties. The HC asked him that he will not either influence or tamper with the witness and evidence." the counsel of Papu added.

Commenting on the grant of bail to Papu CWC member Benudhara Senapati said, “We have to first look into on which ground and after putting what conditions the bail was given by the HC. Besides, we have to ensure the victim does not change her statements under any circumstances and no threats are made to her. The accused should not get chance to influence the probe.

On future course of action Senapati stated, “We have to talk to the public prosecutor and other advocates. After getting the orders only, we will decide what should be our next step.”

The court yesterday reserved the verdict after completing its hearing on the bail petition of the comedian and his aide in the alleged casting couch case against him.

Accused of sexually exploiting a minor girl on the pretext of giving her a break in movies, Papu along with his aide had been arrested on June 30 from an apartment in Puri.

Khordha District and Sessions Court on July 11 had rejected his bail plea. Later, he had moved High Court on July 27 seeking bail, but the hearing could not take place as the police had not submitted the case diary (CD) in the matter.

The duo is currently lodged in the Jharpada Jail in Bhubaneswar.

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