Rape case against godman Dati Maharaj: Court asks police to file status report every week

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Pooja Talwar also directed the DCP (Crime Branch) to monitor the investigation and ensure that a status report on the case is filed in the court every week.

Published: 26th June 2018 06:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th June 2018 06:13 PM   |  A+A-

Self-styled godman Daati Maharaj at Crime Branch office in Chanakyapuri for questioning in connection with the rape case of a 25-year old woman in New Delhi on Tuesday June 26 2018. | (Parveen Negi | EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court today took strong exception to the ongoing probe in the rape case against self-styled preacher Dati Maharaj, saying the investigating officer has not been able to explain what efforts have been made to ensure that the accused does not abscond during probe.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Pooja Talwar also directed the DCP (Crime Branch) to monitor the investigation and ensure that a status report on the case is filed in the court every week.

The court also perused the status report which was filed by the police before another magistrate yesterday.

"Status report has been filed. The same is perused. It is stated by the Investigating Officer (IO) that accused Dati Madan Lal has been called for interrogation. He appears as and when notice is sent. However, upon being asked if the accused was found at the time of search on the two addresses for which the search warrants were issued, the answer is negative.

"IO has not been able to explain as to what efforts were made to ensure the presence of the accused and the fact that he will not abscond during the investigation," the CMM said.

The court also directed the police to expedite the investigation and listed the matter for July 3.

"Keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the case and the allegations levelled against the accused, DCP (Crime Branch) is directed to monitor investigation being carried out and status report will be filed every week. The investigation shall be expedited and will be concluded as expeditiously as possible. List it on July 3," the court said.

Yesterday, the Delhi Police had filed its status report before a magisterial court and said its probe into the allegation of rape against Dati Maharaj was underway and efforts were being made to take the case to its 'logical conclusion'.

In its three-page status report, the crime branch of the Delhi Police said the allegations made by a woman are based on two-year-old incidents and a detailed and thorough probe was being done to establish the veracity of allegations.

The police had also informed the court regarding recovery of CCTV footage and the various statements recorded so far.

It had said that the accused had been extensively interrogated on June 19 during which he had denied all allegations against him.

A complaint was lodged against the self-styled preacher on June 7 and an FIR was registered on June 11.

The police had questioned the accused, charged with raping of a disciple in his ashrams in Delhi and Rajasthan, for over eight hours on June 22.

He has claimed that he was being framed in the case.

The woman had filed the complaint against Daati Maharaj, his three brothers and a woman at the Fatehpur Beri police station in south Delhi.

The case was later transferred to the crime branch.

A Delhi Police team, accompanied by the woman, had later visited the ashram in Pali, Rajasthan, to gather evidence, but they failed to find him there.

The Delhi Commission for Women had also recently demanded the arrest of the self-styled religious figure.

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