Guj HC backs rape victim in case against BJP leader

Gujarat High Court on Friday ordered Police to verify whether a rape victim's plea to withdraw her rape case against former state BJP vice-president Jayanti Bhanushali, was under any pressure. ANI file photo

Gujarat High Court on Friday ordered Police to verify whether a rape victim's plea to withdraw her rape case against former state BJP vice-president Jayanti Bhanushali, was under any pressure.

The observation by the court came in a case of a 21-year-old girl getting an FIR filed against Bhanushali for rape. The political leader in his plea before the court had on Thursday stated that he was a victim of a ‘honey trap’ and that the case was politically motivated. Bhanushali had resigned as BJP state VP in mid-July after the rape complaint was filed against him.

In his plea before the court of Justice P P Bhatt, Bhanushali had claimed that the complainant was part of an extortion gang run by Manisha Goswami, against whom his nephew had already lodged an FIR for blackmail.

However, on Friday, the plea was changed and the leader sought quashing of the FIR against him as an agreement had been reached with the victim. The court, however, observed that it was important that proper verification was carried out in “such” cases.

The court also asked the victim not to be afraid of anyone, howsoever influential the person may be. It asked the police to verify before August 7, whether the victim was under any kind of pressure. The court also advised the victim that if she had changed her stance under duress or pressure, she could inform the court or police.

The victim, who was present in the court, stated that she wished to withdraw her complaint on her own volition and was not under any kind of pressure. Giving the rationale for her change instance, she said prolonging the case could affect her career and future.

Accused on run 

Incidentally, Bhanushali has been on the run and despite three summons by the police, has not yet appeared either before the police or the court. The court also turned down the plea of Bhanushali for a stay against his detention before August 7.

The Opposition Congress, for its part, called this a failure of the ruling BJP government as it has been unable to nab Bhanushali even a month after the complaint was filed against him. 

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Guj HC backs rape victim in case against BJP leader

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