The Calcutta High Court directed Jitendra Narain, a former chief secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to appear before a Special Investigation Team (SIT), which is probing alleged gang-rape charges against him, by October 28, holding that the case requires immediate inquiry.
A vacation bench comprising justices Bibek Chaudhuri and Prasenjit Biswas granted interim protection against arrest to Narain till a date that will be fixed by the circuit bench of the Calcutta High Court in Port Blair on November 14 on its first date of sitting after the Puja vacation.
The SIT is probing an allegation by a woman that she was gang-raped by Narain and others on April 14 and May 1, on the basis of an FIR filed at Aberdeen Police Station in Port Blair on October 1.
The complainant had filed an application before the Aberdeen Police Station in Port Blair on September 30, on the basis of which the FIR was lodged. The woman was allegedly lured to the chief secretary’s home by promising a government job and then raped by top officials there.
A joint team of police officers from Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Delhi raided the house of Narain on October 18, following which he filed an application before the Delhi High Court praying for transit anticipatory bail. A single bench of the Delhi High Court granted interim protection from arrest to Narain till October 28.
The 21-year-old woman has accused both Narain and Labour Commissioner RL Rishi of gang rape and sexual assault.
Narain alleges ‘conspiracy’
The former chief secretary, a 1990 batch IAS officer was subsequently suspended by the Home Ministry on October 17. He has however denied the allegations,claiming that he has “specific materials which demonstrate the fake nature of the case,” News18 reported.
Narain has in turn alleged a “conspiracy” against him and has also contended his presence in Port Blair on the dates given in the woman’s FIR, presenting air tickets and appointment schedules as proof of his presence in New Delhi.
Rishi has also been suspended and an arrest warrant issued in his name.
Victim’s family vowed to move the Supreme Court
The woman’s family has clarified a mix-up in the dates and told The Indian Express that they will approach the apex court to demand cancellation of interim bail granted by the Calcutta High Court to Narain.
(With inputs from PTI)