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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 23/02/2013

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) In a tactical move, the survivor of the sensational Suryanelli gang rape case has approached the Kerala police, accusing Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien of raping her.

The victim, who is 33 years old now, lodged a complaint in this connection with the Chingavanam police in Kottayam district on Friday. The complaint was filed under the new ordinance promulgated by the President to deal with crimes against women, under which the testimony of the victim is sufficient to initiate criminal proceedings in rape cases.

In her complaint, the woman said that the senior Congress leader had sexually abused her at the Kumily Guesthouse on April 19, 1996 after she was abducted by a bus conductor from her village at Suryanelli in Idukki district. She came to the police station near her house accompanied by her parents and lawyer.

It is doubtful whether the complaint will stand legal scrutiny as the ordinance has no retrospective effect. Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan had told the Assembly the other day that only incidents occurring after the promulgation of the ordinance would come under it.

The move is based on the legal advice she has received from her lawyers in the Supreme Court, who apparently advised her to move the police as there is currently no first information report against Kurien in any police station in the state. She had sought the opinion of legal experts on approaching the court for a fresh probe into the alleged involvement of Kurien in the case in the wake of the nation-wide uproar over the New Delhi gang rape case.

The Congress-led United Democratic Front government had earlier ruled out any fresh investigation in the case based on the legal advice it received from three experts, including the Director General of Prosecutions and the Law Secretary.

The Communist-led opposition and various women's organisations have been demanding a fresh investigation into the alleged involvement of Kurien in the case in the light of the apex court verdict quashing the high court judgment acquitting all but one of the accused in the case and ordering a re-trial.

They point out that the Peermede court, where the victim had filed a private complaint in 1999, had found a prima facie case against Kurien. However, three teams of police, which investigated her complaint, gave the senior Congress leader a clean chit.

The victim complained that the investigating team had neither taken her statement nor subjected Kurien to an identification parade. She said that she was still standing by her original statement that Kurien was one of the 40 people, who abused her.


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