Rajasthan, India: On May 4, the Supreme Court of India sought a response from the Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan Government on a plea seeking cancellation of bail granted to the sitting Congress MLA Johari Lal Meena’s son Deepak in connection to the 2021 gang rape case wherein it was alleged that the Congress MLA’s son, aged 46 at the time of the incident, raped a 15-year-old girl.
The minor victim’s uncle appealed before the Supreme Court challenging the Rajasthan High Court’s April 6 order wherein the court granted bail to two accused in the 2021 gang rape case after noting that it would take time to complete the trial.
It is pertinent to note that the minor victim named the accused in her statements and revealed that the accused took photos and videos of her during the rape. Furthermore, she revealed that she was threatened against not revealing the incident or the accused would make the photos and videos viral.
Even though the FIR was lodged for gang rape and offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) on March 25, 2022, the main accused, Congress MLA’s son, was arrested in January 2023.
The appellant challenged the Rajasthan High Court’s order contending that the court ignored the nature of the crime, the likelihood of the accused absconding, the chances of evidence tampering and the possibility of influencing witnesses. Furthermore, the appellant pointed out that the Congress MLA’s son was in custody for only three months but the court went into the merits of the case to grant him bail.
“Accused Deepak is son of sitting MLA Shri Johari Lal and is highly influential. There are bright chances of Accused tampering with the evidence and witnesses during the trial if they are enlarged on bail. There has already been tampering with evidence which is apparent from the record,” the appellant submitted.
Furthermore, the appeal highlighted the facts about missing register entries and CCTV footage from the hotel where the victim was raped and that the Congress MLA’s son’s name was not in the final chargesheet even though he was named in the complaint.