West Bengal govt., which initially questioned victim’s version, tells SC guilt was established

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to entertain the bail applications of the arrested accused, Sumit Bajai and Nasir, in the February 2012 Park Street gang rape case in Kolkata.

Counsel for the West Bengal government had opposed bail on the ground that the prime accused Kadir and another wanted person were still absconding.

A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and H.L. Gokhale said: “We have carefully perused the records. At this stage, we do not express any opinion on the merits of the arguments advanced. But keeping in view the fact that two of the accused are absconding, we do not find it proper to exercise our power under Article 136. Accordingly the SLPs [against the Calcutta High Court order] are dismissed,”

The State government, which had initially cast aspersions on the 37-year-old victim’s claims, admitted before the Bench that CCTV footage, forensic evidence and other materials established the guilt of the accused.

Senior counsel U. U. Lalit, appearing for Sumit, argued that there was no question of his client being involved in the offence. “Perhaps it was a case of mistaken identity. There was no CCTV footage to show that Sumit had taken the victim in the Honda city car allegedly seized from him.”

Counsel said the police had conducted a test identification of the car but nothing incriminating was found in it. But during a second test, the police claimed to have recovered the victim’s hair strands and silver earrings. Further, counsel said, even the first test identification of the car, seized from the house of Sumit’s father, was done 10 days after the incident.

In the February 5, 2012 crime, the woman, who came out of a Park Street night club was raped allegedly by the accused inside a car. Nasir and Sumit were arrested on February 18.