Mumbai: Observing that “prima facie it cannot be said to be an offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder”, the Bombay High Court granted pre-arrest bail to the wife of the Pune hotelier in whose premises a transgender was found dead last year.
How the incident unfolded
On July 24, 2022, a party was organised by the Mist Foundation (that works among the transgenders) at the Bar Heist Hotel in Wakad, Pune. Around 7pm, transgenders Manoj Goilkar and Abhay Gondane entered the bar. They consumed some liquor and went to the dance floor. Between 1 and 1.30 am, Goilkar had an altercation with another transgender.
Hotel owner Anurag Gole, his wife Sejal and hotel manager – who are accused in the case – intervened in the quarrel. Gondane was furious as they were driven out of the hotel. Both of them were hit by the accused and a bartender and bouncer as Gondane confronted the hotelier.
According to Goilkar, Gondane ran out of the hotel and was later found in a pool of blood. He was rushed to a hospital, but succumbed to his injuries.
Ms Gole’s Advocate Satyavrat Joshi pointed out the statements of two witnesses to the court who said that it was Goilkar who first assaulted and “entered into a verbal acrobat” with the owner, manager and bouncer of the hotel.
Judge: ‘Deceased triggered the melee..’
After going through the charge-sheet, Justice Prithviraj Chavan noted, “It clearly indicates that it was the deceased who triggered the melee and was the aggressor at the relevant time. It appears that when the hotel owner, manager and Sejal Gole tried to argue, the deceased himself, out of fear, tried to escape, and in that process jumped off from the second floor, resulting in the death.”
Granting relief to Mrs Gole, the court also noted that other accused were arrested and released on bail.