‘Some Womanisers Must Have Done That’, Says Goa Chief Minister on Smriti Irani Case

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Panaji:  Under fire over the voyeurism charge, Fabindia, today, got the backing of Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar who said the company cannot be blamed for the mischief played by some employees at its store, where Union Minister Smriti Irani spotted a camera facing the trial room.

“Fabindia is supposed to be a reputed company. I personally feel that it must not be the company’s fault but mischief played by its staff members. Some womanisers must have done that,” Mr Parsekar told reporters.

In a related development, Fabindia’s Candolim store manager Chaitrali Sawant was today granted anticipatory bail by a district court in Mapusa town near here in connection with the case.

Mr Parsekar said, “Smritiji was a VIP and because of that cognisance has been promptly taken. We will see that such things don’t occur again. It is a lesson for everybody.”

He said Goa is safe for all women tourists and this is an isolated incident.

Asked if changing rooms of all garment shops would be inspected across Goa, Mr Parsekar said it is up to the police to decide on that.

“I have not issued any directions to check the changing rooms. If police do that then there might be allegations of extortion,” he added.

The voyeurism case was filed against the outlet’s staff after Ms Irani, who visited the Fabindia store at Candolim on Friday, alleged that it had a CCTV camera focusing at the trial room.

Sawant, who had been untraceable after the incident, had moved the court for anticipatory bail through her lawyer on Saturday.

The court, while granting the bail, asked Sawant to be present before the investigating officers for two days (today and tomorrow) as part of the probe in the case.

Judge Desmond D’Costa, in his order, said that all the sections applied in the case are bailable, expect section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

He observed that IPC section 354 does not apply to Sawant as she was not present in the store when the incident happened.

Sawant’s lawyer Raju Poulekar said her custodial interrogation was not required as she was not present at the spot when the incident happened.

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