Suryanelli gangrape case: Kerala CM Chandy defends PJ Kurien

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy ruled out a re-investigation into the Suryanelli gangrape case, saying top courts had cleared the allegations raised against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson P J Kurien.

The allegation levelled by the victim was not new and it had been investigated and cleared by courts including the Supreme Court, Chandy told reporters here.

Terming the attack against Kurien as "unfortunate", he said the media was highlighting the victim's statement as something new.

She had raised this allegation 17 years ago and it had been found to be not true by three probe teams, he said, adding that the Kerala High Court and the apex court had allowed Kurien's discharge petition.

On the CPI(M)-led LDF attack against Kurien on the issue, Chandy said, "some are trying to trigger a controversy over a matter which had been raised 17 years ago."


File photo of Oomen Chandy. PTI

Asked if the government intended to order a re-probe as the victim was sticking to her allegation against Kurien, Chandy said the LDF ruled the state for ten years after this incident and they could not do anything to prove the charge.

"Not only that, government can proceed only in accordance with law. Opposition is trying to create smokescreen on the issue."

Chandy said the LDF-led opposition was trying to politicise the matter by targeting a person and this would only help the real culprits escape. "This is very unfortunate," he added.

The victim had on 29 January sent a letter to her advocate in the Supreme Court to explore the possibility of a review of the apex court order quashing all charges against Kurien.

Meanwhile, a member of the Special Investigation Team that probed the case in 1996 said Kurien's itinerary on the day when she alleged that she was sexually exploited was not fully investigated.

K K Joshua, a team member, claimed that SIT chief Siby Mathews had not made any attempt to collect the itinerary details of Kurien, who was then Union Minister and travelled without escort between 5 PM and 10.30 PM.

The victim had always been consistent in her statements and mentioned the names of 42 people who had exploited her, Joshua told TV channels.

Meanwhile, former chief minister and CPI(M) leader V S Achuthanandan demanded that P J Kurein resign as Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman in view of the victim's statement that she stood by her complaint that he was among those who molested her in 1996.

He said the 'revelation' of former police officer K K Joshua, who was in the team that investigated the case, that Kurien's role was not thoroughly looked into was also "very serious."

"Joshua has revealed that Kurien was spared from being made an accused in the case due to loopholes in the conduct of the investigation. This is very serious. The state government should seek a further investigation in this aspect when the Kerala High Court begins hearing the case afresh as ordered by the Supreme Court," he told a press meet here.

Achuthanandan also took strong exception to Chandy defending Kurien on the ground that no evidence could be brought against him (Kurien) during investigations conducted during the tenures of both the UDF and the LDF.


Updated Date: Feb 03, 2013 08:24 AM

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