The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices in a writ petition seeking transfer of investigation and trial in the criminal case filed against a standing counsel of the UP Government who has been accused of rape by a young practicing lawyer from Delhi.
By: Dimple Kaushalya
The petitioner, a friend of the victim, has accused Mr. Shailendra Singh Chauhan, Additional Chief Standing Counsel in the Lucknow bench of the High Court for sexual harassment of a young practicing lawyer from Delhi. She has alleged that Mr. Chauhan raped the victim in his chamber after administering some intoxicants to her.
Accordingly, an FIR was lodged at the Vibhuti Khand Police Station in Gomti Nagar area, under Sections 328 (Causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence), 354A (Sexual harassment) and 376 (Rape) of IPC.
The Petitioner has submitted that the FIR lodged by the victim in the Vibhuti Khand Police Station has shockingly been circulated all over media, thereby, disclosing the victim’s identity and personal details to the public and making it impossible for her or her family to even step out of their house.
This act is violative of Section 228A of IPC which prohibits the disclosure of the identity of a rape victim and makes such disclosure a punishable offence.
It was further submitted that given the clout of the accused being an Advocate with a long-standing and being related to powerful politicians, they have not been able to file a writ petition before the High Court which has shaken the confidence of the victim.
In these circumstances, she has prayed for:
- A direction upon the Lucknow Police to immediately remove all news, information and other material over the internet relating to the victim or her family;
- A direction to test all samples collected from the crime scene in an FSL facility situated outside the State of UP;
- Transfer of investigation to CBI;
- Transfer of trial outside the State of UP.
Subsequently, Chauhan had approached the High Court stating that the allegations leveled against him were false and therefore, the FIR registered against him ought to be quashed.
Though the court refused to quash the proceedings instantly, it granted interim relief from arrest to Chauhan. Nevertheless, this order has been stayed by an apex court bench comprising of Justices RF Nariman, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee and notices have been issued to the UP Government and SP, Lucknow, stating, “Application seeking exemption from filing Official Translation is allowed.”