Delhi High Court Reserves Order on Review Petition Filed by Daati Maharaj Against Transfer of Probe from Delhi Police to CBI

Delhi High Court Reserves Order on Review Petition Filed by Daati Maharaj Against Transfer of Probe from Delhi Police to CBI

The Delhi High Court division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao, while dealing with the review petition of Self styled Godman, Daati Maharaj, accused of raping a disciple inside Shani Dham two years ago, seeking review of the High Court's October 3 order, wherein the court had transferred the probe against Daati from Delhi Police Crime Branch to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Bench on Friday reserved its order on Daati's plea.

Accusing the Delhi Police of inaction and its failure in conducting a free and fair probe in the matter, the counsel for the victim hailed the High Court's order transferring the probe from Delhi Police to CBI looking into allegations against Daati Maharaj.

Refuting any claims of favouring the Maharaj and not conducting the investigations objectively as alleged by the victim, the Delhi Police submitted before the court that it has diligently conducted probe into the matter, including interrogating Daati eight times during the investigation. The Police however, informed the Court that it was not challenging the Court’s decision to transfer the case to CBI.

Daati Maharaj had moved High Court against court's order of October 3 in which it transferred the probe regarding sexual assault of a disciple inside Shani Dham two years ago, from Delhi Police Crime Branch to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

The case was transferred to CBI, citing the delay by the state police in the issue, which even after registering the FIR and recording of the complainant's statement before a magistrate under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) did not put any efforts to arrest the accused, for which it also faced slamming of the High Court. The High Court transferred the matter to the CBI, observing that the manner in which the Delhi Police carried out the probe "casts a shadow on the investigation".

Senior advocate N Hariharan, appearing for the Maharaj, urged the bench to review its order, alleging that the victim had concealed certain information in the matter and was being falsely framed by the victim.

Hariharan, informed the Court that earlier his petition was filed before the Supreme Court, who directed to approach the High court for redressal of his grievance.

On October 1, the Crime Branch had filed a chargesheet in the case whereas the victim had registered the First Information Report(FIR) in June at the Fatehpur Beri police station against Maharaj, his three brothers and a woman. Daati Maharaj was then booked under Sections 376, 377, 354 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

On October 26, the agency registered a case of rape and unnatural sex against Daati Maharaj.

The issue pertains to a 25-year-old woman who lived as a disciple in his ashram, had lodged the complaint that Daati Maharaj professedly raped her at his ashrams in Delhi and as well as in Rajasthan.

The survivor approached the Delhi High Court seeking probe by the CBI and also pleaded for the arrest of the accused by the investigation agency.