In a relief to a senior government official who is a bilateral amputee, the Supreme Court has ordered an interim stay on the proceedings against him on charges of molesting and raping a minor girl in Uttarakhand’s Almora.
On a petition filed by the accused official — A.V. Prem Nath — seeking CBI investigation into the “criminal conspiracy of framing him”, a bench comprising justices V. Ramasubramanian and Pankaj Mithal said: “Since the petition raises serious questions, issue notice, returnable in four weeks.”
The apex court has issued notice to the Uttarakhand government, the CBI and others.
Senior advocate Dama Sheshadri Naidu, representing the petitioner, drew the apex court’s “attention to the report of the medical officer of the government hospital in Ranikhet, which is also counter signed by the remand magistrate of Almorah, recording the fact that the petitioner is a bilateral amputee (100 per cent handicapped by hands)”.
The bench noted, “The said report was made when the petitioner was arrested and was medically examined at the time of producing him before the magistrate. It is stated that the final report has been filed on 30.11.2022 and the charges are yet to be framed. Therefore, there shall be an interim stay on further proceedings.”
Premnath, who was posted as joint secretary at Delhi Secretariat, moved the apex court seeking a CBI investigation into alleged criminal conspiracy hatched against him. He remained in judicial custody for 74 days till the Uttarakhand High Court granted him bail.
The petitioner claimed that he had been framed in a false case at the behest of some affected “scamsters” after he exposed certain shell companies as part of a Central government drive.
According to the police, the accused molested the minor in a school run by his wife’s NGO in Dandakanda village. He had been charged under the POCSO Act and IPC Sections 376 (rape), 511 and 506, and some provisions of the Information Technology Act.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)