Saturday, February 2, 2013

Suryanelli case: Chandy defends Kurien

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy today ruled out a re-investigation into the Suryanelli gangrape case, saying top courts had cleared the allegations raised against Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson P J Kurien.

The allegation levelled by the victim was not new and it had been investigated and cleared by courts including the Supreme Court, Chandy told reporters here.

Terming the attack against Kurien as "unfortunate", he said the media was highlighting the victim's statement as something new.

She had raised this allegation 17 years ago and it had been found to be not true by three probe teams, he said, adding that the Kerala HC and the apex court had allowed Kurien's discharge petition.

On the CPM-led LDF attack against Kurien on the issue, Chandy said, "some are trying to trigger a controversy over a matter which had been raised 17 years ago."

Asked if the government intended to order a re-probe as the victim was sticking to her allegation against Kurien, Chandy said the LDF ruled the state for ten years after this incident and they could not do anything to prove the charge.

"Not only that, government can proceed only in accordance with law. Opposition is trying to create smokescreen on the issue."

Chandy said the LDF-led opposition was trying to politicise the matter by targeting a person and this would only help the real culprits escape. "This is very unfortunate," he added.

The victim had on January 29 sent a letter to her advocate in the Supreme Court to explore the possibility of a review of the apex court order quashing all charges against Kurien.

Meanwhile, a member of the Special Investigation Team that probed the case in 1996 said Kurien's itinerary on the day when she alleged that she was sexually exploited was not fully investigated.

K K Joshua, a team member, claimed that SIT chief Siby Mathews had not made any attempt to collect the itinerary details of Kurien, who was then Union minister and travelled without escort between 5pm and 10.30pm.

The victim had always been consistent in her statements and mentioned the names of 42 people who had exploited her, Joshua told TV channels.

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