Police pick holes in rape charges against Khar doc on the run(Update)

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The cops say there are a lot of discrepancies in the versions of the woman and of those who accompanied her about what really happened inside the doctor’s cabin. There are several glaring loopholes in the version of the 27-year-old woman who has accused Dr Rustum Soonawalla of raping her at his Khar clinic on Friday, the police team investigating the case has said.

The woman, who is suffering from tuberculosis, said she visited Dr Sonawalla’s clinic on 14th Road in Khar on Friday, when she alleged the incident happened. She had said in her statement that the doctor had asked her husband to wait outside his cabin. She said she came out 40 minutes later and told her husband on their way back home that she had been raped.

But the police said two other people who accompanied the woman said that her husband got a phone call and left the doctor’s cabin voluntarily. Further forensic experts found no struggle marks on the woman. On Saturday, when the police were taking the doctor to the police station to record his statement, he managed to give the slip to the three constables accompanying him and escaped.

Dr Soonawalla’s bail plea on Tuesday was adjourned for Wednesday. “We are verifying both the versions in the case and the matter has been assigned to a lady police officer for an in-depth probe,” said Vishwas Nangre Patil, additional commissioner of police, west.

According to the police:

While the woman claimed in her statement that Dr Soonawalla asked her husband to leave the room, the statements of two other people who were present at that time say that the husband left the room when he got a call on his mobile phone. They said they also left the room with the husband.

The forensic experts at the Nagpada police hospital who examined the woman say there was no injury marks on her body and they could see no signs of struggle.

The police said the woman did not have a concrete answer when they asked her why she did not raise an alarm.

The police said the doctor’s cabin has a wooden door and any conversation or activity inside could easily be heard outside. But the assistant who sits close to the door has said he did not hear anything.

The police said three other patients who, too, were sitting close to the cabin were attended by the doctor immediately after the woman left. They said they did not see any signs of disturbance inside the cabin.

The police said the woman has been Dr Soonawalla’s patient for the last five years. She had sought an appointment with the doctor and got a call from the clinic asking her to be there by 4 pm on Friday. Some time after the couple went into the doctor’s cabin, the husband got a call on his mobile phone and walked out to take the call. After a further 40 minutes, the woman came out and paid Rs 300 as consultation fee to the assistant and left with her husband.

When the police visited the clinic the next day, the doctor initially agreed to go with them to the police station to record his statement. But when the two constables accompanying him told the doctor that he was being booked for rape, he somehow managed to get them out of the car and fled. He has been at large since.(MM)

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