With fresh allegations surfacing against Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson P J Kurien in the Suryanelli gang-rape case, the beleaguered Congress MP wrote to his party president Sonia Gandhi and the Upper House Chairman Vice-President Hamid Ansari, explaining his position.
This was in the context of demands made by the Opposition for his resignation. He is said to have explained that from the highest court down to the level of local police investigations, he has been exonerated in the case not once but many times.
In the letters, he is also believed to have termed the fresh allegations that have been made against him a politically motivated slander campaign by vested interests. He also called the allegations a motivated character assassination. Kurien, it seems, pointed out in his letter that he was exonerated by the Supreme Court in 2001 and was also not among the 35 men tried in the case.
In view of the absconding-after-bail convict in the case S S Dharmarajan’s revelations made to a local TV channel from an undisclosed location in Mysore, implicating Kurien, the Rajya Sabha member later said it is a settled position of the Supreme Court that the statement of an accused after conviction has no legal validity. Dharmarajan, a lawyer, was the only one among 35 men tried in the case to be convicted. He has alleged that he was pressured by the then investigating officer not to take Kurien’s name.