Register FIR against BJP's Shahnawaz in rape case: Delhi HC
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Delhi Police to register an FIR against BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain in an alleged rape case. The court also ordered the police to complete the investigation within three months. In 2018, the victim appealed to a lower court that an FIR be registered against the Bihar politician, alleging he had raped and threatened to kill her.
- The court's order comes at a time when the BJP trying to corner Bihar's newly-formed RJD-JD(U) coalition government as the RJD's Member of Legislative Council and newly-appointed Bihar Law Minister Kartikeya Singh has been mired in an alleged kidnapping case and is facing arrest.
- Hence, the HC's order against Hussain in the alleged rape case could potentially weaken the BJP's attack on Bihar's government.
Rebuking the Delhi Police on Wednesday, the HC bench of Justice Asha Menon said, "In the present case, there seems to be a complete reluctance on the part of the police to even register an FIR." "In the absence of the FIR, at best, the police could have, as correctly observed by the learned Special Judge, conducted only what is a preliminary inquiry."
The victim, hailing from Delhi, accused Hussain of drugging and raping her at a farmhouse in Chhatarpur back in April 2018. He had then allegedly threatened to kill her. In July 2018, a Saket court ordered a preliminary investigation into the victim's allegations. In the following proceedings, the Delhi High Court, however, had given interim relief to him and ordered the investigation be halted.
The police, in their report submitted to the lower court, earlier said that the case against Hussain does not hold water. Dismissing the police's argument, the Saket court, however, ordered an FIR be registered against the BJP leader in July 2018. But the former Union minister later challenged the lower court order arguing that the police investigation had "completely falsified" the case against him.
Meanwhile, Hussain has moved Supreme Court to challenge the Delhi HC's order to the police to register an FIR against him. The matter has been listed for urgent hearing. His lawyer has said if an FIR is lodged, the 30-year-long career of the politician will be destroyed. However, Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana said the SC will hear the matter next week.