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Gangrape case: Supreme Court to hear plea of former Andaman and Nicobar Islands Chief Secretary Jitendra Narain on November 4

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The Supreme Court will hear on November 4 a petition challenging the Calcutta High Court, which directed Jitendra Narain, former chief secretary of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to appear before the SIT probing the gangrape allegations made by a woman against him.

The matter was raised before a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) U.U. Lalit, demanding an early hearing on the matter.

CJI Lalit assured that the Apex Court will hear the matter on Friday.

Earlier on October 28, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Andaman and Nicobar police had questioned Narain for over eight hours at the Police Lines in Port Blair.

A 21-year-old woman in the Union Territory had lodged an FIR on October 1, alleging that she was called to the Chief Secretary’s residence on the pretext of a government job, where top officials, including Narain, raped her on April 14 this year.

The woman further alleged that the accused repeated the crime on May 1.

In her FIR, the woman had accused Labour Commissioner R.L.. Rishi, a police inspector and a hotel owner as accomplices in the crime. The police inspector was also interrogated by the SIT on October 28.

Narain was posted as Chairman and Managing Director of the Delhi Financial Corporation, when the allegations surfaced against him. The government suspended him on October 17 with immediate effect.

The woman had alleged that since her father and stepmother were not taking care of her financial needs, she was in need of a job and was introduced by some people to the Labour Commissioner, who was close to the then Chief Secretary.

The FIR further accused the Chief Secretary of appointing 7,800 candidates in various departments in the Islands administration, “on the basis of recommendation only” and without conducting any “formal interview”.

A Vacation Bench of Justice Bibek Chaudhuri and Justice Prasenjit Biswas at the Calcutta High Court had granted interim protection against arrest to Narain till a date to be fixed by the circuit bench in Port Blair on November 14, on its first date of sitting after the Durga Puja vacation.

The court also noted that Narain, who was transferred to Delhi on July 21, has declared that he was ready and willing to cooperate with the investigation.

A joint team of police officers from Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Delhi had raided the house of Narain on October 18, following which he filed an application before the Delhi High Court praying for transit anticipatory bail.

The Delhi High Court had granted him interim protection from arrest till October 28.

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