Delhi HC to hear Daati Maharaj's plea in sexual assault case on 2 Nov; religious leader claims complainant concealed facts

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Tuesday said it would hear on 2 November plea of religious leader Daati Maharaj, accused in a sexual assault case, alleging concealment of information by the survivor.

Daati has challenged the high court's 3 October order by which the case against him was transferred to the CBI from the Delhi Police Crime Branch. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice AJ Bhambhani said the review petition has to be heard by the same bench and the earlier order was passed by a bench of the Chief Justice and Justice VK Rao.

File image of godman Daati Maharaj. ANI

File image of godman Daati Maharaj. ANI

The court listed the matter for hearing on 2 November before the bench of Chief Justice and Justice Rao. Justice Rao was on leave on Tuesday. Senior advocate N Hariharan, appearing for Daati, said the plea was initially filed before the Supreme Court which asked the religious leader to approach the high court with his grievance.

The counsel claimed certain facts were withheld from the court by the complainant who had concealed the chain of proceedings. A CBI officer submitted the status report of the probe before the court in a sealed cover. The agency had registered a case of rape and unnatural sex against Daati on 26 October. The bench was also hearing two pleas, one by the complainant, and another seeking transfer of the case to the CBI.

The pleas were filed through advocate Joginder Tuli. The court had earlier allowed the complainant woman's plea to transfer the matter to the CBI, saying the manner in which the Delhi Police carried out the probe "casts a shadow on the investigation".

The bench had said the police did not arrest the accused in the case even after recording the complainant's statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The Crime Branch on 1 October had filed a charge sheet in the trial court which was hearing the matter.

The complainant's plea was earlier being heard by a single judge bench of the high court, but was transferred to the division bench after the PIL was filed. 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, police questioned the accused, who has been charged with rape of a disciple at his ashrams in Delhi and Rajasthan. The accused has claimed that he was being framed.

The complainant has filed the case against the preacher, his three brothers and a woman at Fatehpur Beri police station in South Delhi. The case was later transferred to the crime branch. In her petition before the single judge, she had claimed that the accused and his associates were interrogated by the crime branch on different dates, but were not arrested.

It said the FIR against him has been registered for alleged heinous offences of rape, unnatural sex, molestation and common intention under the IPC. A Delhi Police team, accompanied by the woman, had visited the ashram in Pali city in Rajasthan to gather evidence, but failed to find the accused there.


Updated Date: Oct 30, 2018 14:24 PM

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