The Bombay High Court on Monday said that it will not allow the withdrawal at this stage, of a petition filed by a woman, who had made rape allegations against Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, PTI reported. A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale said it will hear the woman’s plea on February 18.

The woman had first approached a metropolitan magistrate’s court in Mumbai in 2013, alleging that Soren had raped her at a Mumbai hotel. However, she filed a withdrawal application against her allegations the same year, before a court in Bandra in Mumbai, according to PTI. The court had back then allowed the case to be withdrawn.

Then in August 2020, the woman approached the Bombay High Court, stating that she had met with an accident and that Soren might be behind it. She sought that a First Information Report be registered against Soren again in the alleged rape case, according to PTI.

On Monday, however, the woman’s lawyers once again submitted that she wished to withdraw the petition seeking registration of the FIR. The court, meanwhile, said it was “not inclined at this stage to accede to the prayer made” by the woman. Advocate Deepak Thakare, representing the Maharashtra government also sought time to file a closure report in the case.

Meanwhile, two intervention applications were filed in the High Court last week seeking to intervene in the case, according to PTI. One of the applications was filed by a Jharkhand-based former journalist Sunil Kumar Tiwari, and the other by Stree Roshni Trust. Both the applicants have sought that the woman not be allowed to withdraw the case.

Last month, the National Commission for Women had sought a detailed action report from the Maharashtra director general of police, on the case. The matter was first highlighted by Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Jharkhand’s Godda constituency, Nishikant Dubey, in July last year. Dubey had tweeted that the Jharkhand chief minister misused his office to settle the case. Soren had then filed a defamation suit against the BJP MP in August, seeking compensation of Rs 100 crore.