Delhi HC dismisses Daati Maharaj’s plea for review of its decision transferring rape probe to CBI

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New Delhi | Published: November 14, 2018 12:44:00 PM

The Delhi High Court Wednesday dismissed self-styled preacher Daati Maharaj's plea for review of its decision transferring the probe in the rape case against him to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Delhi HC dismisses Daati Maharaj’s plea for review of its decision transferring rape probe to CBI (File)

The Delhi High Court Wednesday dismissed self-styled preacher Daati Maharaj’s plea for review of its decision transferring the probe in the rape case against him to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao passed the order on Maharaj’s plea seeking review of the court’s October 3 order.

The court had on October 3 transferred the probe to the CBI from the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch on the plea of woman who had alleged she was sexually assaulted by the preacher.  The high court had said that the manner in which the probe was carried out by police “casts a shadow on the investigation”.

The bench had said the police did not arrest the accused in the case even after recording the complainant’s statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). Daati on November 2 had told the high court that the CBI has lodged a fresh FIR in the matter against followed norms.

The Delhi Police, represented by additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose, had told the bench that its probe into the case was not partisan as alleged by the victim and added that the preacher was interrogated eight times during the investigation. Police, however, had said that it was not challenging the transfer of probe to the CBI.

After hearing all the sides, the bench had reserved its order on Daati’s plea for review of the court’s October 3 decision. The plea against the October 3 order was initially filed in the Supreme Court which had asked the self-styled preacher to approach the high court with his grievance.

The CBI had earlier submitted before the high court its status report of the probe in a sealed cover. The agency had registered a case of rape and unnatural sex against Daati on October 26. The complainant’s plea was earlier being heard by a single judge bench of the high court, but was transferred to the division bench after a PIL on the issue was filed.

A complaint was filed against Daati Madan Lal alias Daati Maharaj on June 7 and an FIR was registered on June 11. On June 22, police questioned the accused, who has been charged with rape of a disciple at his ashrams in Delhi and Rajasthan. The accused has claimed that he was being framed.

The complainant has filed the case against the preacher, his three brothers and a woman at Fatehpur Beri police station in South Delhi. The case was later transferred to the crime branch. The complaint said the FIR against him has been registered for alleged heinous offences of rape, unnatural sex, molestation and common intention under the IPC.

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