Rape on wheels 2002: Victim’s flip-flop confounds all

CHANDIGARH: The flip-flop by a victim of 2002’s sensational rape-on-wheels case has created confusion and left the legal fraternity puzzled whether or not to frame charges, and which, against the accused even as the court has now fixed August 10 for the proceedings.

The latest turnaround came when the victim recently moved court to undo what she earlier said about a local businessman not raping her. While initially she did claim he raped her, but during probe she had alleged it was the others accused in the case who actually violated her. Admitting that the victim had changed her stand thrice, public prosecutor Manu Kakkar, said, ‘Though we will go by the chargesheet submitted by senior cops, the confusion has been created by the latest application filed by the victim. We have scientific evidence, her statement under Section 164 of CrPC and assertions made other witnesses which indicate a conspiracy among accused to frame the businessman.’

Stating the businessman should be summoned to face trial, the victim’s counsel while clarifying her stand, added, ‘The protest petition submitted by us clearly states she was raped by the businessman and not others.’

An FIR was registered on the complaint of a Shimla resident who alleged that a local businessman had raped her on August 14, 2002, and dumped her near a fuel station in Sector 33. But screaming conspiracy, the businessman, pleading for a fair probe, knocked on the doors of high court, which then stayed proceedings of the trial in city’s district courts.

What followed was an intensive probe which revealed that the entire incident was allegedly the brainchild of an IAS officer from Haryana who wanted to frame his friend-turned-foe businessman in the rape case. After a thorough investigation, a chargesheet was submitted against Baldev, Ram Lal and Surinder and conspiracy charges against the IAS officer. It was alleged that the three accused took the woman to a Panchkula hotel and gave her a drink laced with some intoxicant. Later, Surinder allegedly raped her in the hotel room. Recently, the stay had been vacated and trial court fixed the case for framing of charges.

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