With fresh evidence surfacing of his involvement in the Suryanelli gang rape case, P.J. Kurien should step down as Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson, the CPI(M) said on Sunday.

In a statement here, the CPI(M) said if he did not step down, he should be removed from the post, in the background of the Supreme Court annulling the Kerala High Court order acquitting 35 accused persons and ordering re-examination of the case. Mr. Kurien got the benefit of the “flawed” judgement of the High Court when his petition that he should not be included as an accused was accepted by the High Court and the Supreme Court in 2007. Reinvestigation was essential.

The CPI(M) accused the Kerala government of adopting double standards in the case against Mr. Kurien, while it ordered reinvestigation of two cases of murder which had been decided through the judicial process, one of them going up to the Supreme Court.

“The whole country is seriously concerned about the alarming rise in sexual crimes against women. Parliament is to discuss laws concerning sexual violence against women. At such a juncture, when a rape victim has levelled a serious charge against P.J. Kurien and fresh evidence has come to light, will it be proper for him to continue in the post?’’

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