Woman alleges rape by Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu | SC refuses to interfere, says go to HC

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The Hush Post | 7:19 pm | two-minute read |

The Supreme Court has refused to grant relief to a woman who has alleged rape against Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu. The woman from Arunachal Pradesh had moved the top court seeking permission to pursue her case before the Delhi High Court. She had apprehended danger to her life and difficulty in pursuing a legal remedy anywhere in North East India. The apex court declined to entertain her petition.

The Supreme Court said that the litigant was free to approach the jurisdictional High Court for redressal of her grievances. The court also asked her to approach appropriate authorities for police protection.

A Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna remarked that it cannot interfere in an incident that happened in 2008. The apex court told the woman that granting her security was equivalent to agreeing to hear the case.

Kapil Sibal, who represented the woman said that she was 15 years old at the time of the incident. He said that she was unable to file a complaint earlier as she feared for her life. It was only after she saw Pema Khandu’s picture in a newspaper in 2012 that she recognized him, said Sibal.

Pema Khandu’s father was the CM at the time of the alleged incident

The 26-year-old woman has leveled allegations of gangrape against by four, including Pema Khandu in July 2008. Pema Khandu’s father, Dorjee Khandu was the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh then.

The petition states that Khandu and his accomplices gangraped her under the pretext of providing her a job. The woman submitted that the four threatened of dire consequences if she disclosed the incident.

The lady attempted to lodge a formal complaint in 2015, just before Pema Khandu became the CM. However, the Itanagar police was reluctant to register a case. When the police failed to act, the petitioner approached the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Yupia. However, her plea was dismissed by the Magistrate in 2016 who disposed off the case as being devoid of merit.

Chief Minister Khandu had said that the allegations against him were “politically motivated” and a “dirty trick” to bring disgrace to political life.

 

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