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Saritha moves HC against Venugopal

Seeks completion of probe into rape charges

A writ petition was filed in the Kerala High Court on Tuesday by Saritha S. Nair, an accused in the solar scam, seeking a directive to the State government and the Crime Branch to complete the investigation in the case registered against Congress leader and former Union Minister of State K.C. Venugopal on her complaint of rape charges.

In her petition, she said the Crime Branch had registered a case in October 2018 against Mr. Venugopal under Sections 376 (rape) and 354 (assaulting or using criminal force on a woman to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 120 (O)(causing through any means of communication nuisance to any person) of the Kerala Police Act.

Govt. assurance

The petitioner pointed out that she had submitted before the Sivarajan Commission, which inquired the solar scam, that she was raped by Mr. Venugopal and the government had then assured the commission that action would be taken against the former Minister.

However, the government had done nothing since then. As she was convinced that the government would not register a case, she had lodged a complaint with the Director General of Police, South Zone, in 2018. A case was then registered by the Crime Branch against Mr. Venugopal on the basis of the complaint.

She alleged that the investigation agency was not conducting any probe in the case, apparently under the influence of the former Minister. In fact, as per the Criminal Law (Amendment Ordinance), 2018, the State was bound to complete the investigation in a rape case within two months.

The time limit was applicable to trial of the case as well. The Ordinance was brought in to speed up the delivery of justice in rape cases, she pointed out

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