Taking the allegation of rape against Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister with a pinch of salt, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to order police protection to the alleged victim allowing her instead to pursue her remedy back in her home state in Arunachal Pradesh.
Dealing with the petition by victim X, the bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna was circumspect in passing any order as on one hand it realized that granting police protection would be lending credence to the allegations made in the petition. At the same time, the Court did not intend to make any observations that could affect the victim’s right to pursue her legal remedies before the Guwahati High Court.
The bench said, “To recognize your right to police protection is to recognize that there is a grain of truth in your allegations.” Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Krishnan Venugopal jointly appeared for the victim who claimed to be from a very poor family. In her petition filed by lawyer P Sriram, she alleged that since the allegation was against the sitting CM, she feared for her life and for that reason required apex court’s intervention to pursue her appeal before the Delhi High Court. The alleged incident took place in 2007 when the current CM was not holding any political post.
According to the victim, she was brought to the Circuit House at Tawang by a man who promised to provide her a job. She was introduced to three other men including the present CM who introduced himself as an Army Colonel.
That day, she was raped by the four men. At the time of incident she was just 15 and was afraid to report the matter. It was in 2012, she recognized the present CM from the posters showing him as a Minister. But still she filed no complaint.
In 2015, she approached the local police which refused to register a FIR. Later, the victim approached the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Yupia which too dismissed her application on May 30, 2016. She approached the apex court against this order instead of appealing at Guwahati fearing threat to her life.
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