Rape accused SP minister denied protection from arrest

The SC said its order directing the UP police to file an FIR is being given a 'political colour' and it is 'unfortunate'.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a request from Samajwadi Party leader Gayatri Prajapati, accused in a rape case, to protect him from arrest and asked him to opt for a legal remedy against the non-bailable warrant issued against him.

“Our order is only the registration of FIR, nothing else. Let the police investigate and report to us. We never ordered arrest. If an NBW (Non-Bailable Warrant) is issued you have your remedies," NDTV quoted the apex court as saying to Prajapati's lawyer.

A non-bailable warrant was issued against Prajapati on Saturday after reports emerged that the absconding Uttar Pradesh minister may try to flee the country fearing arrest. His passport was also revoked for four weeks.

The Supreme Court also said that its order directing the Uttar Pradesh Police to file an FIR is being given a "political colour" and it is "unfortunate".

Prajapati had on February 20 moved the Supreme Court against its order of registering an FIR against him in connection with a gang rape and sexual harassment case.

Prajapati filed a plea in the apex court seeking protection from arrest and recall of the top court's earlier order.

The apex court had earlier directed the Uttar Pradesh Police to file a status report in the case within a period of eight weeks.

A 35-year-old woman had accused Prajapati of raping her when she met him three years ago.

He is also accused of taking obscene photos of the victim and threatening her to make the photos public and raping her for the past two years.

However, Prajapati claimed that it is a conspiracy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against him in order to distract people's attention from the assembly polls.

"It is a conspiracy against me. I don't even know who the lady is. Since the government has ordered such probe, I would accept it gladly," Prajapati told ANI.

The woman, who hails from Chitrakoot alleged that she was raped by Prajapati and others for two years on the pretext of getting a position within the Samajwadi Party.

Earlier, the woman had moved the apex court after the police in Uttar Pradesh did not register the FIR, following which the police were ordered to file a status report in the matter within eight weeks.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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