Hiranandani allowed to reply to petition alleging destruction of proof in gang-rape case

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday allowed industrialist Niranjan Hiranandani to file a reply to a petition claiming he was involved in the destruction of evidence in a gang rape case. The Crime Branch on Wednesday submitted a sealed report to the court, informing about the investigation so far.

During the last hearing, the court had transferred the case from Powai police station to the crime branch after the petitioner had claimed two police officers of Powai police station were involved in raping her.

Mr. Hiranandani has been accused of conspiracy and ordering the destruction of a community temple where the rape had allegedly taken place. The court will now hear the matter after four weeks, as the petitioner too sought time to file another affidavit elaborating the alleged atrocities against her.

According to the petition, Mr. Hiranandani had been trying to grab the land occupied by a group of slum-dwellers in Powai, by use of brute force. The slum dwellers had allegedly been threatened by goons to vacate the land. The petitioner claimed that the industrialist used money and muscle power to get hold of the land.

She has claimed that last month, she was called to a community temple by the police officials of Powai police station in the morning. The police officials and a goon were in an inebriated condition, she alleged. After she was allegedly raped, the police refused to register an FIR or send her immediately for medical examination, she has said in her petition.

The Bombay High Court had observed during the last hearing that the allegations were serious in nature. The court had also ordered police protection to the victim till Wednesday's hearing.

The Crime Branch has now been given four weeks to submit a further report in the matter.