In a new turn in the Suryanelli gangrape issue, the lone convict in the case today alleged that Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien was involved in it as claimed by the victim. Dharmarajan, the convict who is absconding after obtaining bail, told a television channel that the principal investigator in the case had pressured him not to mention about Kurien's alleged involvement in the case.
Kurien, however, rubbished Dharmarajan's claim holding that the statement of an accused after conviction has no legal validity. "I took Kurien in my Ambassador car to the Kumali Guest house (on the day the girl alleged she was molested).... Why should I lie on that.... I am ready to swear by my deceased father," he told Mathrubhumi News from an undisclosed place in Karnataka where he is said to be hiding. Dharmarajan, who alone was convicted by the High Court in 2005 while acquitting 35 others in the case, alleged that former ADGP Sibi Mathews, who headed the SIT, insisted that he should not name Kurien in the case. At the same time, Superintendent Joshua, another member of SIT, wanted him to mention Kurien's name. Dharmarjan, who was charged with taking the girl to several places for 40 days between January and February in 1996 and sentenced to five years by the High Court, recalled that Kurien was spared the identification parade conducted as part of investigations.
Rejecting Dharmarajan's allegation, Sibi Mathews said he was trying to "create confusion" and wondered how he did not tell these things in the court during the trial.
Reacting to the charge, Kurien told reporters at Pathanamthitta, "This is a settled position of the Supreme Court (that the statement of an accused after conviction has no legal validity).
"Secondly, every accused gets a chance to make a statement before the judge. He did not say this at that time. You (mediapersons) find out why he is making this claim now."