Court rejects bail pleas of Papu, aide

Bhubaneswar: The Khurda District and Sessions Judge Court here today rejected the bail pleas of arrested actor Papu Pom and his aide Pradipta Swain alias Gitu.

Reacting to the verdict, the counsel for Papu and Gitu Ashok Kumar Routray said he would study the judgment before deciding on the next course of action.

“The court did not entertain the parents of the victim in the case. However, the court has rejected the bail petition. We will try for bail again. We have not yet received the certified copy of the judgment and hence don’t know the basis on which the court has rejected the bail. Necessary steps will be taken once we get the report.”

Benudhar Senapati, member of child welfare committee (CWC), said, “The CWC will definitely intervene in the case whether the parents of the victim give their consent or not. Initially, the father of the victim was reluctant as the case will expose his daughter. The mother of the victim knows everything as the statement of the minor girl was recorded in front of her.”

Earlier in the day, Papu and his aide Gitu were produced before the court through videoconferencing.

In a significant development, the minor girl victim of the alleged sexual harassment at the hands of Papu Pom Pom was present in the court with her parents. However, the parents of the victim did not utter a word about the compromise petition filed by them during the hearing.

The court heard the arguments from both the sides. Papu’s counsel said the parents of the victim were not informed when the FIR was filed against his client nor was their permission sought during the inquiry by the child welfare committee (CWC). The case thus does not have a legal basis, he argued.

In his counter argument, the government counsel said Papu Pom Pom should be denied bail since he could influence the witnesses and tamper with evidence if released on a bail and the written petition.

Notably, Papu Pom Pom and aide Pradipta Swain were arrested two weeks back on charges of sexual harassment of the minor girl and are at present lodged in the Jharpada jail.