A Bengaluru Court has accepted a closure report filed by the Halasuru Police in connection with the sexual harassment case filed against the Bishop of Holy Trinity Church, PK Samuel, and a church member, Vinod Dasan. According to section 169 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), a closure report is submitted by the investigating officials when there is no evidence, suspicion or reasonable grounds against the person named in the case, and hence, the person can be released.
On November 30, the First Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Bengaluru dismissed the case after accepting the B report or cancellation report (when there is no evidence to file a chargesheet or seek trial).
According to the Central Crime Branch sleuths, the court had accepted the B report as the complainant had not appeared before the magistrate to challenge the report and hence, had accepted it.
The woman had filed a sexual harassment complaint on the night of January 21 this year at Halasuru Police Station,stating that Bishop Samuel touched her inappropriately and also threatened her to withdraw the complaint she had filed against him and Vinod Dasan in Kothanur Police Station in 2013.
The CCB officials said that the woman allegedly did not cooperate with the investigation. “The mobile tower location of Vinod’s phone and CCTV footage from his house shows that Vinod did not go to Devanahalli as alleged by the woman and the Bishop was in his house,” a CCB official said.
Back in 2013, the woman had also filed a complaint at the Kothanur Police Station accusing Vinod of sexual harassment. Since there were multiple cases related to the same parties, the CCB had taken up the investigation.
In her complaint, the woman had stated that Vinod visited the woman’s mother in Bengaluru’s Devanahalli and told her to convince the complainant to drop the case. He had also informed the woman’s mother that that Bishop PK Samuel wanted to meet her daughter and counsel her on the case. On January 21, the woman and her husband arrived at Holy Trinity Church near Trinity Circle in Bengaluru, where they met both Samuel and Vinod. After they spoke, Vinod allegedly said that he wanted to speak to her husband, leaving the woman alone with Samuel.
Samuel allegedly continued to pressurise her to withdraw the case and allegedly offered to pay her Rs 1 crore as well as employment through the Diocese. However, she refused. At that point, he allegedly put his hand on her shoulder and misbehaved with her.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Rahul Kumar, Bishop PK Samuel was booked under Sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 506 (criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
Vinod Dasan has been booked for criminal intimidation after the woman tried to take her own life on January 21. The case was registered in the Shivajinagar Police Station. It was later transferred to the Halasuru Police as she had already filed a complaint there.