CPI’s women’s forum moves HC for probe

Special Correspondent
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A writ petition was filed in the Kerala High Court on Monday seeking a directive to the State government and the Director General of Police to conduct an investigation into the allegation of the victim in the Suryanelli case that Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien had raped her.

The petition was filed by Kamala Sadanandan, general secretary, Kerala Mahila Sangham State Committee, the women’s wing of the CPI.

The petitioner alleged that Mr. Kurien had raped the girl on February 19, 1996 at the Kumali Panchayat Rest House. He was then a Union Minister of State. Though the victim had pleaded with him to save her, he did not do so. Mr. Kurien had raised a plea of “alibi” before the investigation team that he was at the house of one P.K. Idiculla and later with Sukumaran Nair, then assistant secretary of the Nair Service Society, till 8.30 p.m. The plea of alibi was accepted by the investigation team. The petitioner pointed out that no crime was registered against Mr. Kurien. It was the basic tenet of code of Criminal Procedure that an investigation agency should register an FIR at the stage of receiving information of a cognizable crime, forward the FIR to the court, conduct probe, and submit a report. This procedure had been given a go-by in the case as registration of crime would entail pre-arrest of Mr. Kurien which might force him to seek anticipatory bail. It was to avoid this scenario that the police refused to register an FIR, the petitioner alleged.

The petitioner contended that without registering an FIR, there could not be a legal investigation. In fact, only an inquiry could be conducted. But the team had conducted an investigation.

The petitioner pointed out that in the petitions filed by Mr. Kurien, the victim had not been made a party. Besides, Rajan, one of the witnesses examined by Siby Mathew, Chief Investigation Officer, had now come out saying that the statement given by him earlier was not correctly recorded. The wife of Idiculla, another witness, had corroborated the statement of Mr. Rajan.

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