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MP rape case: High court direct police to unseal official bungalow of judge booked for sexual assault

Ajaygarh chief judicial magistrate Manoj Soni was booked for sexual assault on June 13 after a woman government official accused him of raping her repeatedly at his official residence after promising to marry her.

india Updated: Jun 30, 2018 17:30 IST
Monika Pandey
Monika Pandey
Hindustan Times, Jabalpur
Panna,Rape,chief judicial magistrate
Social activists holds placards as they protest against violence and crimes against women in Siliguri on recently.(AFP File)

A division bench of the Jabalpur high court has summoned the Panna superintendent of police in connection with the alleged sealing of Ajaygarh chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Manoj Soni’s official residence, and directed that it be opened immediately.

Soni was booked for sexual assault on June 13 after a woman government official accused him of raping her repeatedly at his official residence after promising to marry her. She said he subsequently broke off the marriage after being promised a dowry of Rs 2 crore by the family of another woman.

The CJM appealed to the high court, demanding that the FIR lodged against him be quashed because it was filed on the basis of a “false” complaint. He stated in his petition that while their families had discussed marriage, he backtracked after coming to know that the woman had a Lokayukta case registered against her.

The petitioner told Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice HP Singh during the course of the hearing that Soni’s official residence was sealed on the direction of Panna superintendent of police Riyaz Iqbal on June 27. The judges took serious note of this, and summoned the police officer for the next hearing scheduled on July 4.

The complainant had earlier filed a petition in the high court seeking Soni’s arrest and the halting of his marriage, fixed for June 18. However, the bench refused to do so on the grounds that judicial officers enjoy special rights under the Judicial Protection Act. It also asked the police to follow the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court while investigating the case.

First Published: Jun 30, 2018 17:30 IST