Union minister gets notice in rape case

Union minister gets notice in rape case

A lower court in Jaipur has issued legal notices to Nihalchand Meghwal, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers and 17 others in a four-year-old rape case. All the accused have been asked to appear before the court by August 20.

The notices were served by Justice Prem Prakash on Thursday while hearing the review petition filed by the rape victim.

Accusing Nihalchand and 17 others for wrongful confinement and sexual exploitation, the victim had filed an FIR in 2011 with Vaishali Nagar police station of Jaipur.

17-yr-old victim

In the FIR, the 17-year-old victim had named Nihalchand, Jogeswar Garg, a minister in an earlier BJP government, then deputy superintendent of police Anil Rao, then inspector Mahavir, former students’ union president Pushpendra Bharadwaj, her brother-in-law Radheshyam Godara and 11 others.

In 2012, police had filed the final report saying the allegations are false and baseless and no evidence was found to prove the rape.

After the police report, the case was closed.

Later, the victim filed a review petition in the lower court in 2013 challenging the final report filed by police.

The victim challenged the report in the court saying police had favored the BJP leaders and she still stand by her complaint. As the case proceeded, the court served notices to all accused on Thursday.

According to the woman’s initial complaint, her husband Om Prakash Godara forced her into prostitution soon after their marriage in December 2010.

The FIR in 2011 was registered following directions from a local court the woman had approached.

According to her petition, the victim is a resident of Sirsa in Haryana while Godara is from Hanumangarh in Rajasthan.

The initial complaint said all the 17 accused were known to each other and her husba-
nd forced her to go along them.

Later, the accused kept the victim at different places in Jaipur and repeatedly raped her on various occasion.

Nihalchand is the only MP from Rajasthan who was given place in the council of ministers of Narendra Modi.

However, his supporters  have raised question against reopening of the case claiming it to be a conspiracy when the case was closed and the final report submitted by police.