Nun rape case: SC declines CBI inquiry

The Supreme Court today declined to hand over to CBI the investigation into the alleged rape of a nun during the on-going communal violence in Orissa, reports Bhadra Sinha.

india Updated: Oct 23, 2008 01:11 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled out the transfer of the nun rape case to the CBI and asked the victim to cooperate in the probe being conducted by the crime branch of the Orissa police.

Hearing a petition filed by Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar Raphael Cheenath, a bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan said: “At this stage we do not think it proper to hand over the investigation into the case from the state police to CBI. In the interest of the victim as well as in the interest of justice, the victim should cooperate with the state police.”

The archbishop's house in Bhubaneswar said the nun will cooperate with the police. “We’re a law abiding community. The nun will certainly cooperate with the crime branch of Orissa police,” Father Joseph Kalathil, the Vicar General of the archbishop's house, said.

Declining the plea for a CBI probe into the alleged rape, the court noted that the victim had left the district and was refusing to participate in the test identification parade, though nine persons have been arrested. The court, however, gave relief to the victims of anti-Christian riots in Kandhamal, saying the cases of violence would be tried by setting up fast-track courts.

Acceding to the archbishop’s request for a Rs 3-crore grant to rebuild churches in the district, the court asked the state government to “take a generous view on the matter to assess the damage and assist in rebuilding them.” It also accepted the plea of both the archbishop and state government that the paramilitary forces should not be withdrawn from the riot-hit areas till December-end in view of Christmas.

First Published: Oct 22, 2008 14:01 IST