Padma Shri recipient Uddhab Bharali has roped himself in an alleged rape case. Bharali has been accused of sexually assaulting the minor girl under his foster care.
Chief Magistrate Filed Complaint
According to the India Today report, the matter was brought to light by a chief magistrate, who has filed a complaint with the police, following which a case was registered on December 17, 2021.
The magistrate was reportedly briefed about the issue by the District Legal Services Authority (DSLA) the previous day.
The North Lakhimpur Police lodged an instant FIR under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and several sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Interim Bail Granted
After FIR, Bharali moved to the Gauhati High Court seeking pre-arrest bail. The bench of Justice Arun Dev Choudhury granted him interim anticipatory bail on December 28 and ordered him to furnish a bond of Rs 25,000 with a surety.
Justice Choudhury said the allegations were serious in nature, but the bail was granted considering the Bharali's stance and allegations that the instant FIR was lodged to humiliate and defame him, The Hindu reported.
The public prosecutor had opposed the bail application, stating that the court could not consider someone's social status in such sensitive cases.
As per the orders, Bharali has been prohibited from leaving his jurisdiction of the police station without written permission.
The court has also called for the case diary on January 7.
Complaint Filed Over Enmity
Bharali alleged that he is being framed in the sexual assault case over a dispute. He recently had an argument with the Lakhimpur Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Chairperson.
The Chairperson had asked Bharali and his wife to foster two girls, and the couple agreed and had signed the agreement. The dispute arose after the CWC head cancelled the agreement and had asked to hand over the girls to the committee, claiming that the minors didn't want to stay with the family.
Bharali said that there was no mention of sexual abuse among the reasons for the cancellation. Besides, the FIR did not have any specific statements of the minor girls.
Who Is Uddhab Bharali?
The 59-year-old Assamese is an innovator and is a mind behind 140 innovations. His inventions have been made out of things that we see or use on a day-to-day basis.
From developing an affordable wood stove for villagers, a paddy thresher, and a cane stripping machine farmers, to creating a series of daily use affordable products for the specially-abled people, Bharali has patented hundreds of such products.
In 2019, he was conferred with a Padma Shri for Science & Engineering, by President Ram Nath Kovind.