Banda rape case: Krishna Tirath calls for harsh punishment for accused lawmaker

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

NEW DELHI/BANDA - Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath on Tuesday asked for stern judicial proceedings and severe punishment for Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Purushottam Naresh Dwivedi involved in the rape of a teenaged dalit girl in Uttar Pradesh’s Banda District.

Tirath said the main accused should be punished at an administrative level, where his rights as a legislator would be taken away.

“It is a very sad incident that has taken place in which a public representative is involved and then threatens openly. Our Constitution does not allow this and stern judicial proceedings must move against the accused,” said Tirath, while addressing a seminar here.

“The fast-track court is already out with the verdict and he will get critically punished. Rather, I want the punishment to be given on administrative level,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Banda rape case will be heard in the Allahabad High Court today. The High Court will determine if the victim’s confinement was ‘illegal’.

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider a plea for a judicial probe into the case, and is likely to take up the case for hearing on Friday.

An apex court bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia decided to consider the desirability of a judicial investigation into the incident, as senior counsel Harish Salve, during the hearing of another plea linked to the issue of police reform, mentioned the incident, seeking an independent probe into it.

Harish Salve has been asked by the court to file a formal application before Friday when it would examine it.

During the hearing of a plea for expeditious implementation of September 2006 directions of the apex court on police reform, Salve mentioned the incident involving the BSP MLA and sought an inquiry by the Allahabad District Judge or by someone from “outside the area”.

Earlier on Friday, the 17-year-old girl stood by her allegations and claimed that Dwivedi raped her at his residence, along with three of his supporters.

She had also given a similar statement to a three-member team of National Commission of Women (NCW).

The girl was allegedly raped on December 10-11 at Dwivedi”s residence. She escaped from the MLA”s house on December 12, when he allegedly attempted to rape her for the third time and charged her with theft.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Banda has sent Dwivedi to 14 days of judicial custody.

The MLA, who was on the run after orders for his arrest were issued, was taken into custody on Thursday.

The investigating officials, who conducted the preliminary inquiry, have found that Dwivedi had raped the teenager and framed her in a false theft case. (ANI)

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