Court refuses withdrawal of woman's rape plea against Jharkhand CM

The Bombay High Court has said it is not inclined to permit the withdrawal of a petition filed by a woman, who had made rape allegations against Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren.

On Monday, a division bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and Manish Pitale said it will hear the woman’s plea on February 18.

The woman approached a metropolitan magistrate’s court here in 2013, alleging that she had been raped by Mr. Soren in a hotel in Mumbai. The same year, she filed a withdrawal application before the court in Bandra, stating that she wished to withdraw the allegations and her complaint. The court at that time allowed it to be withdrawn.

In August last year, she approached the Bombay High Court, stating that she had met with an accident and Mr. Soren might be behind the accident. The woman had sought that an FIR be registered against Mr. Soren again.

Last month, she filed a plea in the HC, stating that she had decided to change her lawyers. On Monday, the new lawyers appearing for the woman again submitted that she wished to withdraw the petition filed before the high court for seeking registration of the FIR.

The Bench, however, said it was "not inclined at this stage to accede to the prayer made" by the woman. The state’s counsel, Deepak Thakare, sought time to file a closure report in the case.

Meanwhile, two intervention applications were filed in the HC last week seeking to intervene in the case.

One of the applications was filed by a Jharkhand-based former journalist Sunil Kumar Tiwari, and the other by one Stree Roshni Trust. The trust has approached the HC through senior lawyer Satish Maneshinde. Both the applicants have sought that the woman not be allowed to withdraw the case.

The HC will hear the intervention applications and the woman’s plea on February 18.

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