Fresh summons were on Friday issued by a fast-track court against Congress MP Mahabal Mishra and his family members for their alleged role in the kidnapping and rape of a minor girl in 2006, after they failed to appear before it.
The fast-track court, set up to try cases of sexual offences against women, directed Mishra, his wife Urmila, daughter Kiran and brother Hira Mishra to "positively" appear before it on February 18, the next date of hearing.
The court granted exemption to Mishra and his family members from personal appearance for the day after their counsel submitted that they have not been served with the summons issued earlier as they are not in Delhi.
The counsel told the court that their absence was not "intentional or deliberate" as they came to know of the earlier summons only through the media since Mishra, his wife and daughter had gone to the Maha Kumbh mela while Hira Mishra had gone to Patna to perform some rituals.
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat allowed the plea saying, "In view of the facts and circumstances, the exemption is granted to the four accused for today. The accused should appear in this court positively on the next date on February 18."
The court had on February 4 asked them to appear before it after going through the case in which they have been accused of wrongfully confining a minor girl.
The victim and her father had alleged she was confined at Mishra's office at Mahavir Enclave in West Delhi and his brother's house for some days after being kidnapped and that his family members told her to marry the prime accused Pradeep Sehrawat who faces the rape charge.
The case relates to an incident in November 2006 when Sehrawat had allegedly kidnapped the 16-year-old when she was on her way to tuition in a West Delhi locality.