Shouldn’t HC have heard victim before clearing Kurien, ask lawyers

The legal brains have advised the government against further investigation into the alleged involvement of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien in the Suriyanelli case. But a fresh controversy has erupted over whether the victim or her father should have been heard while deciding the plea of Mr.Kurian for discharging him from the case.

The proceeding initiated by the Perumedu magistrate court against Mr. Kurian had been quashed by the High Court on a petition moved by him.

A. Jayasankar, High Court lawyer and legal commentator, said the girl, who was the de facto complainant, should have been made a party and heard before deciding on the petition field by Mr. P.J. Kurian. He pointed out that the complaint was filed by the victim. Therefore, the complainant should have been given an opportunity to be heard.

Sivan Madathil, lawyer and legal commentator, is of the opinion that the victim should have been given sufficient opportunity of being heard. He said the entire proceedings were initiated on the basis of a private complaint. Therefore, when the case filed by Mr. Kurian came up for hearing, the victim had a legal right to be heard.

Mr. K. Rama Kumar, senior High Court lawyer who was the counsel for Mr. Kurian in the case said the father of the victim had no locus standi to implead in the case since he was a witness. If the victim, who was the complainant, had any grievances, she could have impleaded herself in the case and presented her arguments. In fact, the victim was well aware of the proceedings before the High Court.

Director General of Prosecution, T. Asaf Ali said the prosecutor was conducting the case on behalf of the complainant. The State was protecting the complainant. The then LDF government and its prosecutor should have brought to the notice of the court to implead the victim in the case. There was no point in raising these issues now if the then State government failed to bring the matter to the attention of the court. Even the father and the victim were in the know of all the proceedings and if they thought that the state was not properly conducting the case, the victim could have impleaded themselves in the case and appointed a lawyer to present their versions.

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