Mumbai: Woman wants to withdraw plea against Jharkhand CM: Cops to HC

The Mumbai police on Monday told the Bombay High Court it cannot not carry out probe into the allegations of rape and criminal intimidation levelled against Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren as the victim wants to withdraw her petition filed in HC seeking for FIR to be lodged.

Public prosecutor Deepak Thakare told a division bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale that the woman had, in 2013, filed a complaint before a magistrate's court seeking for a rape case to be lodged against Soren.

"The woman, however, withdrew her complaint the same year. Last year, in August, the woman filed a petition in HC saying she had met with an accident and suspected Soren to be behind the same. The woman later sought to withdraw this plea too," Thakare told the court.

The prosecutor opposed two applications filed by a Jharkhand based former journalist Sunil Kumar Tiwari and an NGO 'Stree Roshni Trust' seeking to intervene in the plea and an order from the HC to not permit the woman to withdraw her petition.

"The intervenors have no locus standi (no connection to the matter) when the complainant herself wants to withdraw the petition. The intervening applications are obviously filed with some political interest. What investigation should the police carry out when the complaint is itself withdrawn," Thakare said.

Senior counsel Aabad Ponda, appearing for the woman, told the court she could not be forced to continue with a petition she does not wish to pursue.

"The woman has no connection with the intervenors.

They seem to be backed by some political party like the BJP.

They (intervenors) have some axe to grind with this person (Soren) against whom the woman had filed a complaint in the past," Ponda said, adding that the woman wished to withdraw her petition.

The bench then asked Ponda if the woman was willing to meet the judges in their chamber. Ponda accepted this, following which the bench met the woman in their chamber Monday afternoon.

The court said it would hear the plea further on Wednesday.

Advocate Satish Maneshinde, appearing for NGO 'Stree Roshni Trust', argued that the allegations levelled by the woman are serious in nature and are against a chief minister.

"Several courts have held that such offences are not just against a single person but an offence against the society in general," Maneshinde said.

The intervening applications had sought for a direction to the CBI to probe the allegations.

On Monday, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh told the court the CBI was willing to investigate the case if directed by HC.

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