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Kerala High Court rejects petitions challenging anticipatory bail to Congress MLA in rape case

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The Kerala High Court has upheld the anticipatory bail in a rape case granted to Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of Congress, Eldhose Kunnappilly.

The two appeals against the anticipatory bail granted to the MLA were dismissed by Justice Kauser Edappagath, which were earlier given by the Additional Sessions Judge-VII, Thiruvananthapuram.

Two appeals were moved for the anticipatory bail to the MLA. One of them was moved by the State government and other by the complainant.

Eldhose Kunnappilly, Congress MLA from Perumbavoor constituency, was booked for crimes punishable under Sections 376(2)(n) (repeatedly raping same woman), 307 (attempt to murder), 354 (assaulting woman with intention to outrage her modesty), 354b (use of criminal force on woman to disrobe her), 362 (abduction), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506(1) (criminal intimidation) read with Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of IPC on the basis of a complaint filed by the alleged survivor with the police in September, 2022.

In an appeal, Additional Public Prosecutor P Narayanan argued that the Sessions Court should have not granted a pre-arrest bail when the investigation was in its initial stage.

It was told to the court that the complainant and Kunnappilly had a long-standing relationship but once it got strained, the MLA allegedly assaulted and raped her several times.

When the complainant refused to go with him to a particular rest house, he threatened to kill her by taking her to a Suicide Point at Kovalam.

The complainant supposedly escaped and hid behind a locked house. But was later on taken by the MLA, stating her to his wife who is medically unwell.

As per the appeal, due to frequent threats and physical assaults, the accused left Kanyakumari and tried to commit suicide.

The court also came across the statement of the complainant, which contained explicit narration of several instances of rape.

The Sessions Court failed to consider whether the contents of the statement together with the material produced before it, revealed a prima facie case against the accused or not.

The plea also said that the accused was an influential man, who could intimidate the witnesses and tamper with the evidence.

On these among other grounds, the State sought to quash the order granting anticipatory bail to Kunnappilly.

Kunnappilly has remained suspended from the Congress party for the past six months.

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