CPI(M) members stage walkout in Rajya Sabha, say Kurien should defend himself

The government on Tuesday defended Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien, who has been under attack in connection with the Suryanelli rape case, with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath saying that he had never been an accused in the case, which has been remanded by the Supreme Court to the Kerala High Court for rehearing of the appeal.

‘Being dragged into controversy’

“A section of the media and some political parties have sought to drag Rajya Sabha Deputy chairman Prof. Kurien’s name into this controversy. It is emphatically stated that Prof. Kurien has never been an accused in the case which is called the Suryanelli case, which has been remanded by the Supreme Court to the Kerala High Court for rehearing of the appeal,” he said in a statement made in the Rajya Sabha.

As the Minister rose to defend Mr. Kurien, Communist Party of India (Marxist) MPs staged a walkout with party leader Sitaram Yechury saying that Mr. Kurien should defend himself.

Undermining Constitution: Yechury

“Let him come and defend [himself]. We cannot accept that the executive defend the office of legislature and undermine the sanctity of the Constitution,” Mr. Yechury said.

Mr. Nath said he was making the statement on the directions of the Chair.

In his statement, Mr. Nath narrated the sequence of events in the 17-year-old case since the FIR was filed and how several police investigations had concluded that he was “not involved” and judicial processes had “discharged him of all charges”.

Earlier, the matter was raised by CPI(M) member Prasanta Chatterjee during the Question Hour, when Chairman Hamid Ansari ruled that the government will make a statement after lunch.

The Left parties have demanded Mr. Kurien’s resignation as Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and said that he cannot preside over the discussion on the Criminal Law Ordinance to check crimes against women.

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