Rape Case Against BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain: SC Grants Woman Time to File Papers

In 2018, a Delhi-based woman had approached a lower court for filing an FIR against Hussain for alleged rape.

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Rape Case Against BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain: SC Grants Woman Time to File Papers

The Supreme Court on Friday, 23 September, granted a week's time to a woman, who has lodged a rape complaint against BJP leader and former union minister Shahnawaz Hussain, to bring on record certain "material" documents.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice S Ravindra Bhat took note of the submissions of the counsel for the complainant woman that some “material facts” relating to the alleged offence have been concealed by the counsel for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and he wanted to bring that on apex court's record.

“If you wish to file something, please file them in a week. We will list the matter on 12 October for hearing,” the bench told lawyer Sandeep Kumar Singh, appearing for the woman.

Senior lawyers Mukul Rohatgi and Siddharth Luthra appeared on behalf of Hussain, till recently a minister in the Bihar government.


The Matter

Earlier, the top court had on 19 September deferred the hearing on the appeal of Hussain against a Delhi High Court order relating to an FIR against him on the woman's complaint alleging rape. The SC bench had on 22 August stayed the operation of the high court order.

Prior to this, the high court had on 17 August dismissed Hussain's plea challenging a trial court order directing the Delhi Police to register an FIR against him, saying there was no perversity in the 2018 order, and vacated its earlier interim order staying the operation.

The top court, while issuing notices to Delhi Police and the complainant woman on the plea of the leader, had observed that after hearing the submissions of Rohatgi, it was of the prima facie view that this matter required consideration.

The bench had then said that pending further consideration, the effect and operation of the order under challenge before it shall remain stayed.

In 2018, a Delhi-based woman had approached a lower court seeking registration of an FIR against Hussain for alleged rape. Hussain has denied the allegations.

'Foundation For Investigation'

A magisterial court had on 7 July 2018 ordered the registration of an FIR against Hussain, saying a cognisable offence was made out in the complaint.

This was challenged by the BJP leader before a sessions court which had dismissed his plea.

In its order, the high court had said, "There is no merit in the present petition. The petition is dismissed. The interim orders stand vacated. The FIR be registered forthwith. The investigations will be completed and a detailed report under Section 173 CrPC be submitted before the learned MM (metropolitan magistrate) within three months."

The high court had also said that while reference is made in the police status report to the recording of the statement of the prosecutrix on four occasions, there was no explanation as to why the FIR was not lodged.

"The FIR only puts the machinery into operation. It is a foundation for the investigation of the offence complained of. It is only after investigations that the police can come to the conclusion whether or not an offence had been committed and if so by whom."
Delhi High Court

"In the present case, there seems to be a complete reluctance on the part of the police to even register an FIR," the high court had said.

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