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SC rejects plea for custody of suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav in rape case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Bihar government’s plea that suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav, accused in a rape case, be taken into custody so that the minor victim could testify before the trial court. A bench of Justices A K Sikri and N V Ramana however directed the trial court not to record the testimony of the minor rape survivor till October 24 after the state government submitted that she felt threatened with the MLA out on bail.

Bihar government standing counsel Gopal Singh said the rape survivor has given a statement that she felt scared and threatened and cannot depose before the trial court. “He (Yadav) be taken into custody and let the evidence be recorded. The trial court could not give time as High Court has directed day-to-day trial,” Singh said.

To this, the bench said that respondent Yadav needed time to reply to the plea and file some documents. “Till Monday (October 24) the trial court will not proceed with the deposition of the prosecutrix,” it said.

Bihar government counsel said that security has been provided to the victim by the state but due to fear of the accused she was not able to go to court. Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra appearing for Yadav said since he received the notice only yesterday, he was not able to file the reply.

The apex court had on October 7 sought response of suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav, who is facing trial in a case for allegedly raping a minor girl, on a plea by the Nitish Kumar government challenging the bail granted to him by the Patna High Court.

Bihar government has urged the court to stay the high court order granting bail to Yadav saying the court had erred in granting bail to Yadav in a heinous case like this. Yadav had allegedly raped the minor girl at his residence in Biharsharif on February 6 this year. After evading arrest for a considerable time, he surrendered after a local court issue proclamation notice and an order to attach his properties for not surrendering before the police.

The Bihar Police, in its charge sheet, has also named a woman and her relatives as accused on the ground that they had been allegedly supplying women to the suspended RJD MLA representing Nawada Assembly constituency. The RJD suspended Yadav from the party on February 14, a day after his arrest warrant was issued.

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