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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Woman wants to withdraw plea against Jharkhand Chief Minister: Cops to Bombay High Court

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.

By: PTI | Mumbai |
Updated: April 5, 2021 10:59:48 pm
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. (File)

Mumbai Police on Monday submitted before the Bombay High Court that it cannot carry out investigation into allegations of rape and criminal intimidation against Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, as the victim desired to withdraw her plea filed in the court seeking registration of FIR in the case.

A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale, which was hearing woman’s plea was informed by public prosecutor Deepak Thakare that the woman, in 2013, had filed a complaint before the magistrate’s court, seeking to lodge rape case against Soren.

He said the woman, however, withdrew her complaint the same year and in August 2020, she had filed a petition in HC, claiming she had met with an accident and suspected Soren to be behind the same. She sought to withdraw that plea as well.

The court was also hearing two intervention applications filed by Jharkhand-based former journalist Sunil Kumar Tiwari and NGO ‘Stree Roshni Trust,’ who sought an order from the HC to not permit the woman to withdraw her petition.

Thakare opposed the applications and said the intervenors had no locus standi while the complainant herself wanted to withdraw the plea and the applications were filed with :political interest.”

Senior counsel Aabad Ponda, representing the woman, told the court that she desired to withdraw the petition and she should not be forced to continue with it. He said the woman has no connection with the intervenors and they seemed to be backed by certain political parties.

In view of “peculiar facts and circumstances of the case,” the court sought to interact with the petitioner in the chambers in presence of Court associates.

The bench, in its order, recorded that after her lawyer identified her, she appeared before it in the chamber and submitted, “She desires to withdraw the writ petition and she does not wish to pursue the allegations made in the plea. The statement was made voluntarily, without any pressure from either of parties.” The court posted further hearing for consideration on Wednesday.

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