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
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.