Daati Maharaj moves Supreme Court against transfer of sexual assault case to CBI; hearing on 22 October
Daati Maharaj has been charged with the rape of a disciple at his ashrams in Delhi and Rajasthan.
New Delhi: Preacher Daati Maharaj, accused in a sexual assault case, has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court's order transferring the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The high court had on 3 October pulled up the Delhi Police for not arresting Daati Maharaj in the case and had transferred the matter to the CBI.
His plea is scheduled to come up for hearing in the apex court on 22 October before a bench of justices NV Ramana and MM Shantanagoudar.
A complaint was filed against Daati Madan Lal alias Daati Maharaj on 7 June, and an FIR was registered on 11 June. On 22 June, the police had questioned the accused, who has been charged with alleged rape of a disciple at his ashrams in Delhi and Rajasthan. The accused has claimed he was being framed in the case.
The complainant filed the case against the preacher, his three brothers and a woman at the Fatehpur Beri Police Station in South Delhi. The case was later transferred to the Delhi Police's Crime Branch.
The Delhi High Court, while transferring the case to the CBI, had said the manner in which police had carried out the probe "casts a shadow on the investigation". The high court had said police did not arrest the accused in the case even after recording of the complainant's statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Code of Procedure.
The police had claimed before the high court that arrests were not made in the case as there were discrepancies and contradictions in the woman's statement.
It had also alleged that other women, who according to the complainant were also assaulted by the accused, have denied such allegations when they were questioned.
A trial court had earlier taken strong exception to the manner in which probe was being conducted in the case, saying the investigating officer had not been able to explain the efforts made to ensure that the accused does not abscond during the investigation.
It had directed the deputy commissioner of police (Crime Branch) to monitor the probe and ensure a status report is filed before the court every week.
A purported video of a Malayalam actress experiencing sexual misconduct during a film promotion event at a mall in Kozhikode went viral on social media platforms soon and the local TV channels aired the same.
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On 26 August, for the first time since its inception, the Supreme Court had live streamed its proceedings of a bench headed by then Chief Justice NV Ramana through a webcast portal