Bribe for verdict in favour of Rapist Muslim league leader – Ex Judges to be quizzed

published on April 26, 2011

Bribe-for-verdict: Ex-judges to be quizzed
PNS | Thiruvananthapuram

The Kerala Police’s special investigation team probing the sensational ice cream parlour sex scandal has issued notices to two former High Court judges to appear before it for questioning on the allegation that they had derailed the case by issuing biased verdicts after accepting bribes.

The police had asked former judges KK Thankappan and K Narayana Kurup to appear for questioning before them in Kochi on Tuesday but the former judges requested for more time citing technical reasons. A police team had reached Kochi for the purpose but the former judges said they needed ten to 20 days more to appear for questioning.

The allegation against the former judges is that they had gone out of their way to issue verdicts favourable to former minister PK Kunhalikutty, general secretary of Congress ally Muslim League, who was said to have sexually abused a minor girl back in 1996, by accepting bribes aggregating Rs 40 lakh.

Businessman KA Rauf, also a close relative of Kunhalikutty, had in January alleged that the two former judges had accepted bribe from the former minister to issue verdicts favouring him on a plea for change of court of the case and another seeking a CBI probe into the ice cream parlour sex scandal.

Following this, a television channel telecast a video of KC Peter, former Additional Director General of Prosecutions, saying that the Justices Thankappan and Kurup had accepted bribes aggregating Rs 40 lakh from Kunhalikutty to issue verdicts favoruing him in 2007 when they were judges at the High Court. However, Peter later denied having made any statement like that.

In the video clipping shot in a sting operation, Peter was seen as saying that Kunhalikutty would have gone into prison had Justices Thankappan and Kurup not issued orders in his favour after taking bribes. “There is no judge in the High Court as corrupt as Narayana Kurup,” the video showed Peter as saying.

Peter was shown in the video as saying that he had advised Rauf on ways to influence the Justices Thankappan and Kurup. They were said to be Peter’s classmates at the law academy and colleagues in the legal profession. Rauf had triggered the current round of controversy over the 15-year-old parlour sex scandal with new revelations. Both the former judges had denied the allegation.

Rejina, one of the victims in the sex scandal, had said that Kunhalikutty had sexually abused her at three different locations in 1996 when she was a minor. However, she later changed the statements she had given to the police and the court, allegedly due to the threats and money offered by Kunhalikutty through Rauf and others.

The special investigation team would also question about 150 others who had been named as accused and witnesses. They have already questioned 30 witnesses. Meanwhile, Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose on Tuesday briefed Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan on the progress of the probe into the ice cream parlour sex scandal.

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