New Delhi: The Union government has put up a spirited defence for Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha PJ Kurien who is in the dock after the Supreme Court ordered a retrial of the Suryanelli rape case.
Speaking in the House, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said that Kerala politics should not play out in the Parliament and stressed that Kurien was exonerated in the 16 years old case.
Challenging the Left, the minister said that Left can boycott the Parliament if they want. The government seems to be clear that it is not ready to abandon Kurien when he faces one of the toughest challenges in his political career.
The sex scandal took place at Suryanelli in Idukki district in January 1996. The victim, then only 16 years old, was threatened, abducted and abused by a bus conductor and was later taken from place to place and sexually assaulted for 45 days by 42 men.
The victim later claimed that Kurien was among those who exploited her at a guest house in Idukki on Feb 19, 1996.
In the late 1990s, after the lower court found more than 42 people guilty, the victim filed a private complaint against Kurien in a court in Idukki district. In that case, Kurien was acquitted by the apex court.
On Feb 22, the victim, along with her parents and others, approached the Chingavanam police station near Kottayam and filed a complaint against Kurien, alleging that the present deputy chairman of the Rajya Sabha had sexually exploited her at a guest house in Idukki Feb 19, 1996.
The police accepted her complaint and offered a receipt of the complaint, but did not register a case as they were unsure whether a case could be lodged legally in the matter, given that Kurien had already been cleared of the charges in the Supreme Court.
With IANS inputs