Magistrate booked for rape, dowry
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.