The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition filed by a woman alleging that Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu raped her in 2008 when she was a minor, Bar and Bench reported. A bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjeev Khanna said the court cannot interfere in an incident which took place 11 years ago.
The court said the complainant can approach the High Court with her plea. It added that she could also approach “appropriate authorities” for police protection. However, the woman had approached the Supreme Court after the police and chief judicial magistrate refused to register a criminal complaint against Khandu.
The complainant said that in 2008, as a 15-year-old she was working in a Public Call Office in Arunachal Pradesh. A man approached her and lured her into a meeting with the promise of a government job. There, four men, including Khandu, who allegedly introduced himself as an army man, made her consume a spiked soft drink, and then raped her.
The complainant said that she was unaware of the real identities of the accused. In 2012, she said she realised one of them was Khandu, when she saw his photograph in the newspaper. The Bharatiya Janata Party leader was the tourism minister of Arunachal Pradesh at the time.
The complainant had named two others in her plea - Thupten Tashi, a teacher at a government school and Dorjee Wangchu, an assistant mineral development officer at Ziro.