SC wants RJD MLA ‘inside’ during rape victim’s deposition

New Delhi, Oct 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday observed that RJD lawmaker from Bihar Rajballav Yadav — accused of raping a minor girl — should be “inside” rather than “outside”, so that the victim girl can record her statement before the trial court without any fear.

“We want the victim to be examined fairly and without any fear and threat. We are more concerned about her safety. She should depose in the fairest manner and without any fear,” observed the bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice N.V. Ramana.

The court’s observation came after brushing aside the RJD lawmaker’s plea that he would stay away from Bihar during the period when the alleged victim girl would depose before the trial court and record her statement.

The Bihar government counsel Gopal Singh opposed the plea of Rajballav Yadav, saying that if the accused is outside jail, the victim would not depose before the trial court out of fear.

The Bihar government has moved the top court challenging the grant of bail to Rajballav Yadav by the Patna High Court.

The top court had on October 18 put on hold the deposition of a minor girl till October 24, as the accused lawmaker had sought more time to file his reply to the plea for the cancellation of his bail.

The court extended the interim order on Monday, and the hearing was again adjourned on the plea of Raballav Yadav.

The MLA from Nawada was accused of raping a school-going girl at his residence in Bihar Sharif in February this year.

He was suspended from the party as the incident surfaced. However, he continues to be an RJD lawmaker in the state assembly.

Yadav, who was denied anticipatory bail by a local court in Bihar Sharif in February, was absconding but surrendered in the court in March. He was granted bail by the high court on September 30.

Yadav was named as one of the five accused in the charge-sheet filed in April.

Besides Yadav, the charge-sheet named Sulekha Devi and three others, who were accused of supplying girls to the RJD lawmaker.