The person, in custody of the Jaipur police for raping a German woman in 2006, claims he is not the accused but a banker residing in Kerala

The Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court here served notice on the Jaipur police and the Kannur Jail Superintendent on Thursday, asking them to establish the identity of rape-accused Bitti Mohanty. Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (II) Shiv Pratap Tamboli on Thursday served the two-week notice to the two police departments, asking them to furnish proof by July 18 that the person brought from Kerala on a production warrant and produced before him was indeed Bitti Mohanty and not Raghav Rajan, as he claims to be.

Curiously, the man, currently in custody of the Jaipur police for raping a German woman in 2006, claims he is a victim of mistaken identity. While the Rajasthan police insists the man is Bitti Mohanty impersonating himself as Raghav Rajan, his lawyer claims he is the latter, a banker residing in Kerala, and that the police had wrongly incarcerated him.

“The Jaipur police have wrongly brought my client Raghav Rajan here. The Jaipur jail has no record of Bitti Mohanty's fingerprints or blood samples and they have not matched them with my client's for identification,” Ramesh Dhayal, Rajan’s lawyer, told The Hindu. “How can they keep my client in jail when they have not been able to prove he is Bitti Mohanty,” he asked. “Station House Officer, Lal Kothi police station, and jail superintendent Kannur have been asked by the court to furnish proof of his identity as Bitti Mohanty,” he said.

Bittihotra Mohanty, son of former Odisha DGP B.B. Mohanty, was convicted of raping a German woman in April 2006. Released on parole seven months after the sentencing, he failed to honour the conditions of his parole by not returning to Rajasthan.

Seven years after he breached the terms of his parole and disappeared, the Kerala police arrested him from Kannur, where he was allegedly leading an impersonated life as Raghav Rajan, a trainee officer at the State Bank of Travancore, hailing originally from Andhra Pradesh.

Since then, the Rajasthan police have been trying to establish that Raghav Rajan was indeed Bitti. Interestingly, they had earlier claimed that the accused had admitted himself to be Bitti. “His fingerprint and DNA records were matched and his identity was confirmed. He also admitted to being Bitti,” then Jaipur police commissioner B.L. Soni had told The Hindu in March. “The original investigating officer and other officials associated with the case were called to Jaipur and they identified him as Bitti Mohanty, the person who was convicted of raping a German woman,” he had said.

However, things changed in a matter of less than two months when a local court, hearing his parole violation case, granted him bail in May, partially accepting that he was Raghav Rajan.

Now, Bitti/Raghav’s identity hangs by a thread as the Rajasthan police tries to establish that he is the man they want. The Kerala police, meanwhile, is in no mood to move the courts in Kerala for a production warrant to take him back.

Earlier, a court in Kannur had allowed the Kerala police to conduct a DNA test on Bitti and his parents to establish his true identity, but the decision was stayed by the Kerala High Court.