Suryanelli continues to haunt PJ Kurien, HC seeks details

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PJ Kurien
Kochi, Mar 11: In a development that could spell trouble for Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien, the Kerala High Court has sought details of all the cases which have been filed by the Suryanelli rape victim against him so far.

A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Vinod Chandran ordered the state government on Monday to furnish the details. The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) that appealed for a specific direction to the Kerala Police to reinvestigate the role of Kurien in the case.

Kerala Mahila Sangam general secretary Kamala Sadanandan is the petitioner. She told the court that the victim was still a minor in 1996 when a total of 42 men raped her over the course of 40 days.

The victim has all along maintained that Kurien sexually exploited her 17 years ago. Yet the police failed to take cognisance of the heinous crime and did not even register a first investigation report (FIR) because of Kurien's political clout, the petitioner said.

The report submitted by an inquiry team that gave a clean chit to Kurien should be rejected outright as the police ignored the relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code, the PIL stressed.

Both the petitioner and the government were earlier asked to put forth their arguments regarding the PIL before the court. It will be taken up again after the court vacation.

Opposition parties in the state have been clamouring for Kurien's resignation ever since the Supreme Court set aside the 2005 order of the high court that acquitted as many as 34 of the 35 accused in the case.

A lawyer who was the only person convicted of procuring a minor and selling her for purposes of prostitution has compounded Kurien's woes. SS Dharmarajan told a Malayalam news channel that he took the Congress leader in his white Ambassador car to the Kumily guest house wherein the victim was confined on Feb 19, 1996.

In the interview to Mathrubhumi, the advocate claimed that Kurien remained closeted with her for nearly half an hour. Incidentally, investigators had relied on call records which suggested that the Congress leader was visiting one of his friends at that exact time.

OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)

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