Orissa, February 10, 2012: A Catholic nun gang-raped during sectrian violence in Orissa in 2008,has won the right to cross examine a lower court judge in the supreme court for “misrepresenting facts”.
The bench headed by Justices Altmas Kabir and J. Chelameshwar posted the matter for hearing on February 13.
“We had to file the special leave petition before the apex court to challenge the Orissa High Court’s dismissal of her plea to cross-examine Prashant Kumar Das, a sub divisional judicial magistrate,” said Manas Ranjan Singh, one of the lawyers of the nun.
He said that Das had conducted the test identification (TI) parade to identify the accused in the rape case.
The nun had identified one Santosh Pattnaik as one of the accused but Das “erroneously and with mala fide intention” recorded that the former had slapped the nun and misbehaved with her and did not commit any other overt act, Singh added.
“It is misrepresentation of facts on the part of the judicial magistrate before the court,” he said.
Singh said that they had approached the high court as the trial court had rejected the same appeal on the ground the case has been filed by the government and the complainant has not asked for it.
The Supreme Court also asked the standing counsel of the state government to be present during the hearing.
Sister Justine Senapati, human right activist in the state capital Bhubaneswar said, “This is a welcome ruling as the state government is not ready to even file before higher judiciary.”
She said that justice has become a dream for the victims of the communal violence.
The nun was attacked, raped and paraded semi-naked through the streets on August 25, 2008 in Kandhamal, the epicenter of the sectarian violence.
- ajay kumar singh