Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien got a shot in the arm on Friday when Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy ruled out a re-investigation in the 17-year-old Suryanelli rape case.
“After fresh revelations, we again got legal opinion,” Mr. Chandy told journalists here, adding, “There is no scope for re-investigation.”
This statement comes in the midst of demands by Opposition parties that Mr. Kurien step down as Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson and be prosecuted as the victim in the case has made a plea that he be included as an accused in the main case which the Supreme Court has reverted to the Kerala High Court.
It also comes in the wake of Mr. Kurien’s meetings with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari over the last couple of days. He told both leaders that he was innocent and was the victim of a Left-led conspiracy.
Mr. Chandy’s statement on Friday that there was no scope for a fresh investigation — despite the victim’s demand that he be included and the testimony of the only convict in the case — could strengthen Mr. Kurien’s position, even though the final call that the Congress leadership takes will be political.