SC adjourns hearing of rape case against P J Kurien

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New Delhi, Oct 26 (UNI) The Supreme Court today adjourned the hearing of the appeal filed by the Kerala Government against the state High Court judgement quashing the criminal proceedings in the rape case against former Union Minister P J Kurien and his associates.

The bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices R V Raveendran and V S Sirpurkar also asked the Kerala government why it is taking so much interest in a complaint case against Mr Kurien who is facing allegations for committing rape on a class IX student.

Mr Kurien is a senior Congress leader from Kerala and presently there is a Left Front Government in the state and Congress and Left Front are rivals in the state. The Left Front government has also decided to proceed against former state chief minister and senior Congress leader K Karunakaran facing allegation of corruption in palmoilen import scandal.

Previous Congress government in the state had decided to drop the proceedings against Mr Karunakaran and had filed an application to this effect in the apex court.

Mr Kurien, former Minister of State for Industries in the Central Government is facing allegations of keeping the girl in illegal confinement and subjecting her to gang rape along with his associates.

The girl had recognised the Minister after seeing his photographs in March 1996. She disclosed everything to her father and identified the man who had committed the rape. When the police did not act on the complaint of her father, they lodged a private complaint case in the court and summons were issued to the politician and his associates.

Mr Kurien is presently a Rajya Sabha member and has been five times MLA from Kerela. The High Court, however, quashed the proceedings against Mr Kurien while exercising its power under 482 CrPC against which the state government has come in appeal which is unusual as in such cases, only the agreed party/complainant has the locus to challenge the order, which is unfavorable to him.


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