A civil court in Arunachal Pradesh has issued orders restraining a complainant, who has accused Chief Minister Pema Khandu of raping her, from defaming the political leader, Northeast Today reported on Tuesday. Civil Judge (Senior Division) Yupia issued the order on March 9, a day after the complainant addressed a press conference on the allegations.
In the order, the court said that the complainant publicly labelled allegations against the chief minister despite being aware of a pending defamation suit against her. On February 27, the woman was served a court notice after Khandu’s counsel told the court that a defamation suit had been filed against the complainant. Again on March 6, the court issued a new notice, seeking her response as to why she should not be restrained from making further allegations.
“Taking into account the case at hand and subsequent development carried out by respondent knowing about the pendency of suit, I am of the view that ad interim injunction can be granted,” the court order read.
The court order also applies to everyone who is party with her. “In view of the fact as an interim measure the respondent and any of her representatives are hereby restraint from making any further defamatory statements or agitation against plaintiff till returnable date or until further order whichever is earlier,” the order read.
The woman had first filed the complaint against Khandu in December 2015, a few months before he became chief minister. She alleged that Khandu and two others had raped her in 2008. But the court of the chief judicial magistrate found no merit in the complaint and dismissed it in 2016. On February 15, she approached the National Commission for Women. However, the NCW also reportedly dismissed the complaint.
Chief Minister Khandu had said that the allegations against him were “politically motivated” and a “dirty trick” to bring disgrace to political life. “I am shocked and saddened by the false allegations against me,” the chief minister had said. “I have always conducted myself honourably and with utmost integrity. In my view, these allegations are politically motivated and crafted by my opponents.”