SC to hear plea of BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain in alleged rape case on Sep 23

The Supreme Court would hear on September 23 the plea of BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain against a Delhi High Court order relating to the registration of an FIR against him on a woman’s complaint alleging rape.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justices Ajay Rastogi and S Ravindra Bhat Monday took note of the request of the counsel of the complainant woman and decided to hear the plea of Hussain on Friday.

The top court on August 22 stayed the operation of the High Court order relating to the registration of the FIR against Hussain on a woman’s complaint alleging rape.

In a brief hearing, senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi and Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the BJP leader, said that a false allegation has been levelled.

The court adjourned the hearing after the counsel for the woman sought the adjournment.

Prior to this, the high court, on August 17, had dismissed Hussain’s plea challenging a trial court order directing the Delhi Police to register an FIR against him, saying there was no perversity in the 2018 order, and vacated its earlier interim order staying the operation.

The top court, while issuing notices to Delhi police and the complainant woman on the plea of the leader, had observed that after hearing submissions of Rohatgi, it was of the prima facie view that this matter required consideration.

The bench had then said that pending further consideration, the effect and operation of the order under challenge before it shall remain stayed.

In 2018, a Delhi-based woman approached a lower court seeking registration of an FIR against Hussain on her allegation of rape. Hussain has denied the allegations.

A magisterial court had on July 7, 2018, ordered the registration of an FIR against Hussain, saying a cognisable offence was made out in the complaint of the woman.

This was challenged by the BJP leader before a sessions court which had dismissed his plea.

In its order, the high court had said, “There is no merit in the present petition. The petition is dismissed. The interim orders stand vacated. The FIR be registered forthwith. The investigations will be completed and a detailed report under Section 173 CrPC be submitted before the learned MM (metropolitan magistrate) within three months.” The high court had also said that while reference is made in the police status report to the recording of the statement of the prosecutrix on four occasions, there was no explanation as to why the FIR was not lodged.

“The FIR only puts the machinery into operation. It is a foundation for the investigation of the offence complained of. It is only after investigations that the police can come to the conclusion whether or not an offence had been committed and if so by whom. In the present case, there seems to be a complete reluctance on the part of the police to even register an FIR,” the high court had said.

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