Hyderabad police investigating the minor’s gang-rape in Jubilee Hills registered a criminal case against BJP MLA M. Raghunandan Rao on Tuesday over the legislator releasing some pictures and a video clip connected to the crime.
The Abids police of Hyderabad commissionerate booked the case invoking section 228A of the Indian Penal Code against the legislator after an advocate Komiredd Karam lodged a complaint the previous day. Mr. Karam said in his complaint that the pictures and the video clip revealed identity of the victim which was in gross violation of the directions of the Supreme Court.
“The action of the MLA also amounts to character assassination of the victim,” he said. Releasing the pictures and the video clip would have caused ‘colossal distress’ to the victim, he said adding that it also amounted to interference in the administration of justice.
The lawyer filed the complaint with the Hyderabad Police Commissioner, West zone Deputy Commissioner of Police, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, New Delhi, and Telangana State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Chairperson. He wanted the Jubilee Hills police of West zone (who were investigating the Hyderabad gang-rape) to register a case against the BJP MLA.
However, the Abids police of Central zone registered the case against Mr. Rao since he released the pics and video clip from his party office coming under Abid’s police station jurisdiction. The lawyer urged the police to invoke sections of the Juvenile Justice Act and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act also against the MLA.
Speaking to regional TV news channels, the lawyer said the legislator should explain from where he secured the pictures and the video clip and book cases against the persons who gave that material to him.
Mr. Raghunandan Rao, who is also a criminal lawyer, said he was aware of the legal provisions on the subject and maintained that he did not violate any law. “I did not show the victim’s picture, mention her name or details of her parents. I released the pictures and video clip since the police were not disclosing details of the accused some of whom were wards of MIM public representatives,” Mr. Rao said.
Referring to Mr. Karam’s complaint, the BJP MLA said the complainant was a Congress leader’s son and it was part of the Congress party’s plan to support the accused. “Otherwise, the complaint is lodged against me for bringing to light facts instead of demanding action against the accused belonging to MIM leaders,” he said.
Mr. Raghunandan Rao said what had Mr. Karam and other Congress leaders done when Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav went to the house of the victim (Disha case) of gang-rape and murder in Cyberabad. They kept quiet when photos of the victim were published and circulated by some then.