The Supreme Court would go into the merit of an Allahabad High Court order imposing a cost of Rs 50 lakh and ordering a CBI probe against a former Samajwadi Party legislator who made an allegation of abduction and rape against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
The high court imposed the cost on Kishore Samrite while absolving Gandhi and his friends of the allegation of illegal detention and rape of an Uttar Pradesh girl in Amethi.
While ordering a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the whole affair leading to the allegation against Gandhi, a division bench of the high court, in an interim order, summoned the records of the case that was being heard by the single judge and passed the order.
Samrite challenged the division bench’s decision of passing the order after calling all the records from the single judge’s court.
The apex court bench of Justice BS Chauhan and Justice Swatanter Kumar said it would go into the propriety of the division bench calling the records of the case pending before the single judge and the merit of the interim order passed by it.
The court asked Additional solicitor General Harin Raval to keep in a sealed cover the CBI report on its investigation.
The court directed the listing of the matter Sep 10.
Appearing for Samrite, counsel Kamini Jaiswal told the court: “If one court is seized of the matter, could a division bench call for the records and pass an order even when it was not before the chief justice of the high court?”
Jaiswal said that “division bench could not have passed an order on the petition (which was) before the single bench and pass an order imposing a heavy cost of Rs.50 lakh and directing a CBI probe without hearing me.”
Gandhi July 6 had sought the dismissal of the petition challenging the high court order absolving him of the allegation of illegal detention and rape of the girl.
“I emphatically deny the allegation of rape and detention of the writ petitioner and say both these allegations are false, malicious and baseless and no cognizance could be taken by any responsible person of such allegations made on a website,” Gandhi said in his affidavit before the apex court.
Samrite alleged that the family of the girl from Amethi had allegedly gone missing after a trip there by Gandhi and his friends. He claimed that the girl had been raped and then held illegally to prevent the story from coming out.
He said that an “astronomical” amount had been slapped by the high court on him as costs. Of this, Rs.20 lakh was ordered to be paid to the girl’s family, Rs.20 lakh to Gandhi and Rs.5 lakh to the state police chief as a reward.
He alleged that since the high court passed the order, he was facing recovery proceedings and had been called time and again to the police station. He urged the apex court to immediately stay all proceedings against him.
The apex court had stayed the operation of the high court order in April.