SC stays registering FIR against Shahnawaz Hussain in rape case
The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Delhi High Court order directing the police to register an FIR against BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain on allegations of rape. The HC order on Wednesday had chided the Delhi Police for its "complete reluctance" over registering the FIR and directed it to complete the investigation in the matter within three months.
Why does this story matter?
- Delhi police had failed to register an FIR in the case filed in April 2018, wherein the complainant had accused Hussain of sedating and raping her.
- In July 2018, a Saket court ordered the Delhi Police to register an FIR and carry out the preliminary investigation into the matter, which was stayed by the Delhi High Court later that year.
'Complainant has ulterior motive'
Hussain contended that the complainant was having a matrimonial dispute with his brother Shahbaz Khan, and thus, had an ulterior motive. The plea further says that the complainant's allegations were found to be false and she had been changing her statements. Hussain's and the complainant's location did not match according to the call detail records (CDR) and CCTV footage.
Bench allowed complainant to approach police for protection
The bench headed by Justice UU Lalit noted that after filing the plaint, the complainant was said to have been assaulted. The bench allowed the complainant to approach the nearest police station in case she sought protection. The SC said that the notice was returnable in the third week of September. Hussain was represented by senior advocates Siddharth Luthra and Mukul Rohatgi.
Had filed a case in 2017: Shahnawaz
Hussain claimed to have filed a case with the Delhi Police in 2017 about a Delhi-based woman trying to defame him through her Facebook account. He had stated in the plaint that he and his brother lived separately. The woman had alleged that Hussain had taken her to a farmhouse in Chhatarpur where he drugged and raped her, and then threatened to kill her.
FIR could have put BJP on backfoot in Bihar
BJP has been trying to corner the newly-formed Bihar government after JD(U)'s Nitish Kumar ditched BJP to form a coalition with RJD and five other parties. The allegations of 'jungle raj' in Bihar have been rekindled with RJD's MLC and newly-appointed Bihar Law Minister Kartikeya Singh mired in an alleged kidnapping case. The FIR against Hussain could have put BJP on the back foot.