Cong to assess 'gravity' of charges against Kurien

Amid demands from some quarters that Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien should step down on the ground of propriety, the Congress has indicated that party will examine how serious were the allegations against him and take a decision on the issue accordingly.

“Party will consider what are the allegations and how serious are the charges and then will take a decision,” a senior party leader said on Wednesday.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) demanded stepping up demanded stepping down of Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman on the ground of propriety. The Kerala's Left Democratic Front led by the CPM has already stepped up its demand for a fresh probe in the case, protesting within and outside the state Assembly.

“Propriety demands he should step down till he comes clear of charges,” Sitaram Yachury told reporters here.

He, however, denied commenting on the charges against him, saying law will take its own course. Kurien has landed into a fresh trouble in the 1996 Suryanelli serial-rape case after the victim recently wrote to her counsels to move the Supreme Court pleading for a review of its earlier decision that had exonerated the Congress leader. This came after Supreme Court set aside the Kerala High Court verdict, issuing directive to have a fresh look into the case.

Although, Left leaders are demanding Kurien to step down, several leaders in Congress feel such a demand was not justified as the apex court had earlier exonerated him.

The party, however, is treading cautiously on the issue as the UPA government has to bring the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 for discussion in the Rajya Sabha.

“We respect the Supreme Court’s order which has directed to reopen the case. The government is bound to follow the order of the Court. Let us wait for the final outcome.
Law will take its course, no matter the person is very important or an ordinary citizen of India,” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said, when asked if Kurien should step down on moral grounds.

BJP divided over dy-chairman Issue

The central and state leaderships of the BJP have taken contradictory stands on Rajya Sabha Deputy-Chairman P J Kurien’s alleged role in the Suryanelli rape case, reports DHNS from Thiruvananthapuram.

While the central leadership was of the view that Kurien should step down as the deputy-chairman if the case was re-opened, the state leadership said Kurien has no moral rights to continue even as a member of the Upper House.

“At present, we don’t think it is fair to demand his resignation, but of course he should if the court reconsiders the case,’’ senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said.

However, BJP state president V Muraleedharan said: “We stick to our demand and in the coming days we will launch a protest.”

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