Nikhil’s ‘rape victim’ offers to marry him, files compromise petition
The victim girl had lodged an FIR against Nikhil Priyadarshi and three others under SC/ST Act, POCSO Act and sections 354 and 376 of IPC with SC/ST police station on December 22 last.patna Updated: May 25, 2017 20:07 IST
In a bizarre turn of events, the sensational sexual harassment case involving businessman Nikhil Priyadarshi, presently languishing in jail, and the daughter of a former Congress minister, has taken a new turn with the victim offering to marry the accused in a compromise petition filed on Thursday.
Whether it will help Nikhil, a big dealer in motor cars and known for his enormous clout, come out of the jail, only time will tell.
Lawyers say, in Indian law, rape is a ‘non-compoundable offence’ and it remains to be seen how the court takes it in the face international debate over the issue of sparing perpetrators of the ghastly crime on the basis of compromise and promise of marriage.
The victim filed a compromise petition in court on Thursday even as the court issued arrest warrant against Congress leader Brajesh Pandey and two others on the basis of a police plea. Pandey too has been accused by the victim girl of the same crime and is presently absconding. The police headquarters have asked Patna SSP Manu Maharaaj to execute the warrant without delay.
Shyamnandan Singh Santosh, public prosecutor, said the victim was a minor when the crime was committed and a compromise petition would have no impact on the scope of the case filed under Section 376 of the IPC and SC/ST Act.
Janardan Rai, the counsel for Nikhil, said the compromise petition would take the case towards acquittal even if the police file a chargesheet.
The issue of arrest of Nikhil Priyadarshi and other had led to a confrontation between two senior police officers in the police headquarters, with one pitching for his immediate arrest and the other advising against it.
The U-turn by the victim, who had levelled serious charges against Nikhil and his accomplice Pandey, may have serious ramifications, as the girl’s safety and the circumstances under which she has filed the compromise petition would also need to be looked into for her safety, said a police officer.
The victim claimed to have fallen in love with Nikhil, son of a retired IAS officer Krishna Bihari Prasad and brother-in-law of a 2005 batch IPS officer Rajiv Ranjan. However, she had earlier alleged that after coming close to her, Nikhil called her to his bungalow and allegedly raped her on the pretext of marriage.
She lodged an FIR against Priyadarshi and three others, including Nikhil’s brother Subhash Priyadarshi, friend Sanjeet Sharma and father Krishna Bihari Prasad under SC/ST Act, POCSO Act and sections 354 and 376 of IPC with SC/ST police station on December 22 last.
The girl recorded her statement under section 164 of CrPC before the court that friends of Priyadarshi also used to rape her. She was blackmailed through use of a video shot by Priyadarshi. Medical tests have confirmed her statement of multiple rape, said a police officer.
Priyadarshi, who had been evading arrest for the past two months, was nabbed in Lakshmanpur in Pauri Garhwal in Uttarakhand in March 2017 along with his father. The duo was arrested during a routine check of vehicles en route to a pilgrim town in the hill state and the Audi car they were travelling in was seized.