New Delhi: Pinki Pramanik, the Asian Games Gold medalist now accused of being a man and of having raped a woman, has been granted bail after spending 25 days in a West Bengal jail.
The judge at the North 24 Parganas district court, while granting bail to Pinki, observed that Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with rape could not be applied in the case. He granted bail on a surety of Rs 5000.
The court will also receive this afternoon, the report of a chromosome pattern test (Karyotyping) that was done to determine Pinki's gender.
The retired middle-distance runner, 26 years of age, is likely to be released from jail tomorrow morning. She was arrested on June 14 after she was accused of being a male by her live-in partner, a 30-year-old woman, who also alleged that she was raped by Pinki.
The woman complainant was present in court today and she fainted as the judge announced bail. Pinki was not present in court, but her father, Durga Charan Pramanik, was.
After her arrest last month, Pinki was taken to a private nursing home in Barasat, West Bengal, under police custody and later to the Barasat General Hospital for gender tests, but the reports were inconclusive and the athlete was referred to the Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital in Kolkata.
But even this state-run facility did not have the chromosome pattern test. The test was finally conducted but the SSKM Hospital superintendent Prof Tuhin Kanti Ghosh did not disclose the medical facility.
Many sportsmen are incensed at Pinki being subjected to the embarrassment of being taken from one place to another for gender tests that have so far not thrown up anything. To top all humiliation, an MMS clip purportedly showing the athlete in the nude and which seemed to have been recorded during one of the many medical tests she was made to undergo, went viral on the Internet.
The West Bengal Human Rights Commission also stepped in, directing the home, health and police departments to inquire into the alleged "inhuman torture" on the athlete in police and jail custody.
A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Calcutta High Court, which has directed the West Bengal government to file an affidavit within two weeks on the progress of investigation into this.
The Eastern Railway middle-distance runner had won a 4x400m relay gold in the 2006 Doha Asiad and a silver in the same event at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Pinki bagged three gold medals in the 2006 SAF Games in Colombo when she won the 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay events.