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SC refuses to grant protection from arrest to SP-BSP alliance candidate in rape case

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: May 17, 2019  | 19:23 IST

New Delhi, May 17 (PTI) The Supreme Court Friday refused to grant interim protection from arrest to a SP-BSP alliance candidate from Ghosi Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, who was seeking relief till May 23 in a rape case registered against him. "Absolutely no case," a vacation bench of Justices Indira Banarjee and Sanjiv Khanna said at the outset of the hearing. The counsel appearing for petitioner Atul Rai, who is accused of raping a college student from Varanasi, said polling in Ghosi is scheduled on May 19 in the last phase. "It is not a case for quashing. Fight it out. Fight the election and this case too," the bench told the counsel, adding, "Sorry. You are well aware about the procedure of quashing". An FIR was registered against Rai on May 1 on a complaint by a college student who had alleged that he took her home on the pretext of meeting his wife but later sexually assaulted her. The SP-BSP alliance candidate, who has denied the rape allegations, has been on the run since the lodging of the FIR. During the hearing on Friday, the petitioner's counsel said that Rai had filed nomination paper for contesting the polls on April 26 and the FIR was lodged on May 1. The counsel claimed there were two other cases where similar allegations were levelled by the complainant woman and later, there was compromise between the parties in both these matters. "You have not filed documents. We do not know what you are saying," the bench observed. When the counsel claimed that the case lodged against Rai was "politically motivated", the bench said, "This is very vague". The matter would be heard on May 27. At the fag end of hearing, Rai's counsel urged that no coercive action be taken against Rai till May 19 and he should not be arrested. The bench refused to grant any interim protection to Rai. Rai's counsel had earlier told the court that his client was contesting the Lok Sabha elections and he should be granted protection from arrest till May 23 when the results of the general elections will be announced. The lawyer had said that there was no provision of anticipatory bail in Uttar Pradesh and since the high court had on May 8 dismissed Rai's petition seeking protection, he may be arrested in the case. Ghosi constituency falls in Mau district of Uttar Pradesh. PTI ABA MNL SA

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