Pranav Pandya rape case: Uttarakhand HC directs govt to submit progress report by June 23
The Uttarakhand high court has directed the state government to submit a progress report on the investigation into an allegation of rape against Gayatri Parivar head Pranav Pandya by June 23.
The court on Wednesday also asked the state government’s counsel to submit copies of the victim’s statements recorded by the police and the magistrate, said advocate Vivek Shukla, who has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the matter.
Shukla had alleged in his PIL that the police investigation into the matter was sluggish and Pandya had got a stay on his arrest from the high court.
“I apprised the high court there are chances that the accused, who is a very influential person, could influence the investigations. I urged the high court that it should monitor the progress of the case,” he said.
“I have also requested the high court that the victim should be provided police security,” he added.
In the last week of May, police Haridwar had recorded the statement of the victim as part of the probe against Pranav Pandya, head of the All World Gayatri Family (AWGF), popularly known as Gayatri Parivar.
The statement was recorded by a team led by investigation officer Meena Arya in Delhi, where the victim is currently staying and where she file her complaint before it was transferred to Haridwar. She alleged the rape occurred in Haridwar.
The case came to light after the victim, who belongs to Chhattisgarh, filed her complaint against Pandya in Delhi in early May. In her complaint, she alleged she was raped and harassed by Pandya and intimidated by his wife Shail Bala Pandya in 2010, when she was working as a kitchen attendant at their Haridwar-based Gayatri Parivar ashram.
Pandya has refuted the allegations and later got a stay from the high court against his arrest.
Describing the allegations as baseless, he had said, “The lodging of the complaint by the woman after a decade of the alleged incident itself speaks of the false narrative and the clandestine way the woman has plotted. She is just trying to tarnish my image.”