SC rejects British woman`s plea but orders police protection
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Last Updated: Thursday, July 08, 2010, 22:23
  
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today declined to entertain the plea of a British woman, who was allegedly raped, for transfer of the appeal proceedings in the case to the Delhi High Court but directed Rajasthan government to provide her adequate security.

A Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur, however, directed that the appeal filed by the convict Parbhat Singh Rana in the Rajasthan High Court against the life sentence shall be heard by a bench other than the one which had initially granted him bail.

The apex court passed the direction while dismissing the appeal filed by the victim seeking transfer of the appeal proceedings from the Rajasthan High Court to the Delhi High Court on the ground that Rana was an influential individual and she apprehended threat to her life.

Appearing for the victim, counsel Nikhil Jain alleged Rana was politically influential and the local community was also supporting him and hence the victim was under constant threat to her life.

He submitted that even during the trial proceedings, Rana had a intimidated her a number of times. Moreover, he pointed out that Rajasthan government also did not challenge the bail granted by the High Court within three months of the conviction and life sentence imposed on Rana by the Fast Track Court in Udaipur on April 30, 2008.

However, the arguments failed to convince the bench which said that in the appeal proceedings, the presence of the victim was not necessary as she can be represented by her counsel and hence there was no need to shift the trial to Delhi.

It, however, said Rajasthan government shall provide sufficient security to the victim.

The victim, a British national and journalist, was allegedly raped by the accused on December 23, 2007, at a lodge in Udaipur owned by Rana where she was staying on a vacation. The accused is alleged to have committed the offence under the pretext of offering a blanket.

A fast track court convicted and sentenced Rana to life imprisonment on April 30, 2008, but the Rajasthan High Court stayed the sentence and granted him bail on July 29, 2008.

Aggrieved by the grant of bail, the victim approached the apex court which in January 2009 cancelled the bail.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, July 08, 2010, 22:23


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