Chennai, Mar 11: The alleged gangrape of a convict's wife by the Vellore prison staff has come to the fore again with Madras High Court admitting a writ petition, seeking a CBI probe into the incident, and ordering a notice to the Tamil Nadu Government.
A Division Bench, comprising Mr Justice D Murugesan and Mr Justice V Periyakaruppiah, admitted two writ petitions, one filed by Mr R K Ayyappan on behalf of the convict Ganesan and the other by Mr Hari Babu on behalf of the Human Rights Protection Council.
Mr Ayyappan, in his writ of habeas corpus, sought a direction to the authorities to produce Ganesan before the court, alleging that he was severely beaten up and tortured in the prison after he had accused the prison staff of raping his wife Nathiya. On admitting the petitions, the Bench directed the State Home Secretary to file a reply within two weeks.
A fortnight ago, the High Court had dismissed a habeas corpus petition filed by Ganesan, who sought production of his wife, alleging that she was gang raped by four prison staff in November last and missing since then.
As the court ordered a detailed inquiry, police traced Nathiya in Tirupur and produced her before the court. But the case took a dramatic turn when she told the judges that she was a spinster and had never married Ganesan, imprisoned in Vellore central prison.
After the Government doctor certified that Nathiya was a virgin and ruled out gang rape, the court came down heavily on the convict and the lawyer, who had appeared for him for filing a false case and slapped a fine on both the lawyer and the convict.
Meanwhile, the 'gangrape' case took an interesting turn when media published reports about the marriage between Nathiya and Ganesan and the ''fact'' that she lived with him for three months before he was arrested in a case and lodged in Vellore prison. The media also produced copies of letters written by Nathiya to Ganesan when he was in the prison, triggering speculation that there was something fishy in the case and police were trying to hide something.
It was against this backdrop that Mr Ayyappan, counsel for the convict, filed a fresh petition, seeking CBI probe into the alleged gang rape of Nathiya and production of Ganesan in the court.
Mr Ayyappan said after the High Court closed the case, Ganesan was brutally beaten up and tortured by the prison authorities and sought a direction to the prison authorities to bodily produce him before the court to extract a signature from him.
Seeking a CBI inquiry into the alleged gangrape of Nathiya, he said that as the local police and prison officials were trying to cover up facts, only the central agency could bring out the truth.
He also sought a detailed inquiry into the ''false'' certificate given by the Government doctor in Vellore that Nathiya was a virgin.
Ganesan, in his original petition, had submitted that his wife, while visiting him in the prison in November last, had told him that she was gang raped by four prison staff. Since then she was missing, he said, seeking the court's assistance in tracing her.