Mag­is­trate booked for rape, dowry

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION | POLITICS POLICY - NEWS NET­WORK

TIMES

Prima fa­cie, the al­le­ga­tions were found cor­rect and a case was reg­is­tered on Wed­nes­day

Bhopal: A ju­di­cial mag­is­trate, posted at Ajay­garh in MP’s Panna district, has been booked on rape charges af­ter a woman ac­cused him of hav­ing a phys­i­cal re­la­tion­ship with her and then reneg­ing on his prom­ise of mar­riage.

The com­plainant also moved high court, seek­ing a stay on the mag­is­trate’s mar­riage. It will be heard on June 18 — the day of the wed­ding.

Panna SP Riyaz Iqbal told TOI, “We have reg­is­tered a case un­der Sec­tion 376 IPC (rape) and sec­tions 3 and 4 of Dowry Pro­hi­bi­tion Act against Manoj Soni, ju­di­cial mag­is­trate first-class.” Po­lice are examining some “ev­i­dence” that the com­plainant has handed over, he added.

The woman says she was en­gaged to mag­is­trate Soni three years ago. She ac­cuses him of sex­u­ally ex­ploit­ing her and de­mand­ing dowry of Rs 50 lakh. When her fam­ily re­fused to pay, he de­cided to marry an­other girl on June 18, she al­leges. Prima fa­cie, the al­le­ga­tions were found cor­rect and a case was reg­is­tered on Wed­nes­day, said the SP. “All proof pro­vided by the woman are be­ing ex­am­ined minutely. Any ac­tion against Soni will be taken only af­ter de­tailed in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” he added.

With her face cov­ered with a du­patta, the com­plainant told me­di­a­per­sons that she was get­ting “death threats” and has sought po­lice pro­tec­tion.

TOI re­peat­edly tried to con­tact Soni but his phone was switched off. “Even po­lice have not been able to con­tact him. He is on leave for his mar­riage. We have in­formed the district judge re­gard­ing the com­plaint,” said the SP.

Regis­trar gen­eral of MP high court Fa­heem An­war told TOI that po­lice have in­formed HC about the case. An in­ter­nal en­quiry would be con­ducted against the mag­is­trate and a no­tice is­sued to him to ex­plain his po­si­tion vis-a-vis the charges, he said.

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