New Delhi, Feb 26: Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, who has been under attack in connection with the Suryanelli rape issue, was today defended by the government with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath saying he was never an accused in the case.
“A section of the media and some political parties have sought to drag Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Kurien's name into this controversy. It is emphatically stated that Kurien has never been an accused in the case which is called Suryanelli case,” Nath said while making a statement in the Rajya Sabha. When the minister rose to defend Kurien, CPI(M) members staged a walkout, with its senior leader Sitaram Yechury saying Kurien should defend himself.
“Let him (Kurien) come and defend. We cannot accept the executive defend the officer of legislature and undermine the sanctity of the Constitution,” Yechury said. Nath insisted that he was making the statement upon a direction by the Chair.
The minister mentioned that the case has been remanded by the Supreme Court to the Kerala High Court for rehearing of the appeal.
He narrated the sequence of events related to the 17-year-old Suryanelli rape case since the time FIR was filed and how several police enquiries and judicial processes “acquitted” Kurien of all charges.
Kurien, a senior Congress leader from Kerala, has been under attack, particularly from Left parties after the victim demanded recently that he be made an accused in the case.
Kurien recently met Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari as also Congress President Sonia Gandhi to explain his position. He also wrote a letter to all Rajya Sabha members on the eve of the start of the Budget Session on February 21, insisting that there was no case against him and allegations against him were false.