Even as the Kerala High Court adjourned till September 25 a petition against the dismissal of a plea to register a case against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson P.J. Kurien, the court asked whether the magistrate court concerned had dismissed a petition filed by the victim for fresh probe against Mr. Kurien after examining the witnesses and the victim.
Justice P. Bhavadasan made the oral observation when the petition filed by T.P. Nandakumar, editor of Crime magazine, against the Thodupuzha district court order rejecting his plea for impleading him in a review petition filed by the victim in the case came up for hearing.
The district court had also dismissed the review petition by the victim against the Peerumedu magistrate court’s rejection of a criminal revision petition seeking a directive to the Kumily police to register a fresh case.
The High Court observed that if the magistrate did not follow the procedure contemplated by the Criminal Procedure Code, the High Court could even suo motu take note of such an action.
When the petition came up for hearing, Director General of Prosecution T. Asaf Ali submitted that Mr. Nandakumar had no locus standi to file a petition. He said that when his petition came up before the sessions court, the victim herself had opposed the impleadment petition. This was because the victim might have thought that her interest would not be safeguarded if his petition was allowed.
The victim had moved the magistrate court on the basis of the retracted revelation made by Dharmarajan, the sole convict in the case, that he had taken Mr. Kurien to a guest house at Kumily where the girl had been lodged.
The court had held that the petition was not maintainable as Dharmarajan had backtracked on his statement. He had said in an affidavit that he was drunk when he made the charge against the Deputy Chairman through the media. Dismissing the petition, the sessions judge had upheld the Peerumedu Judicial First Class Magistrate Court ruling that there was no fresh proof against Mr. Kurien.
The High Court is now hearing the appeals of the accused after the Supreme Court had set aside the High Court verdict acquitting all 35 accused but Dharmarajan in the 1996 rape case.
The apex court had also ordered a fresh hearing on the appeals.