Pop singer Remo Fernandes was granted anticipatory bail on Thursday in connection with a case of allegedly verbally abusing a minor girl, by Goa Children’s Court which observed that there is no possibility of his tampering with the evidence.
"The apprehension that the applicant is likely to tamper with the evidence is misplaced and if there is such attempt it would be a good case for cancellation of bail," Judge Vandana Tendulkar said in her 18-page order while granting the bail to Remo.
The 62-year-old singer has been accused of verbally abusing a minor girl at GoaMedicalCollege and Hospital where she was being treated after getting injured by a car allegedly driven by his son.
After the court order, Remo, in a statement, said, 'I have full faith in the judiciary, and I know that the truth will surface soon, as it usually does.'
Remo was granted anticipatory bail on a personal bond of Rs 50,000. He has also been asked to appear before the investigating officer in the case for ten days from Friday, from 10 am to 1 pm.
The court also asked the singer to surrender his passport and deposit it with the investigating officer, till the chargesheet is filed in the case.
The order, which was passed in a jam-packed court hall in the city, also questions as to what would police achieve through Remo’s custodial interrogation.
“No reason has been disclosed as to what will be sought to be achieved by custodial interrogation. It is only stated that the presence of applicant is required for custodial interrogation, without showing the need for it, application for anticipatory bail cannot be rejected,” the judge noted.
Citing various other judgements, including the one involving Goa’s former chief minister Digambar Kamat, the court said that ‘the arrest should be the last option and it should be restricted to those exceptional cases where arresting the accused is imperative in the facts and circumstances of the case’.
It also said that the act of Remo (after the case was filed) indicates his bonafide intentions of abiding by the process of law instead of absconding and being not available for investigation and trial.
"Otherwise also, the applicant is a well-known musician and a prominent personality who would not prefer to flee from the state of Goa. No doubt, the applicant is a holder of Portuguese passport, but he has roots in Goa and owns properties in Goa, as mentioned in the application supported by his affidavit," the judge said.
After he got bail, Remo said, 'Much better and bigger men than I have been accused falsely in history. There is nothing shameful in being accused falsely. The shame, the sin and the crime lie in accusing someone falsely. That is something I would never do, just as I would never insult a wounded young woman. Why, I would not even insult the person who filed this false complaint against me.'
'My sons have been raised to bring home abandoned sick puppies, kittens, birds and other creatures, something which is well known by the people in my village. I guess not everyone has such values in life,' he said.
Social activist Aires Rodrigues had filed the complaint against Remo for allegedly verbally abusing the 17-year-old girl at GoaMedicalCollege and Hospital where she was admitted after allegedly being hit by a car driven by his son Johan on December 2, last year.
Last month, Remo had sought anticipatory bail from the Goa Children's Court in connection with the case.
In the bail plea, the singer claimed that he is innocent and is being falsely implicated in the case.
The bail application, filed by his lawyer Rajiv Gomes, stated that the singer is a native of Goa, but has acquired Portuguese nationality and presently possesses a Portuguese passport.
It said that he also has business interests in Goa and India, and therefore there can be no apprehension of the applicant absconding and not attending the trial.
The singer also said that he had met the girl in GoaMedicalCollege on December 3 after the accident, and as per her demand offered to pay Rs 50,000 for treatment and travel.
'But to the horror and surprise, the younger sister of the injured (girl) in a very rude and impolite manner, began demanding that the singer should pay nothing short of Rs 3 lakh at the moment,' the petition submitted.
'When he asked her why she is demanding so much, her reply was ‘because you have prestige’,' the plea claimed.