Ahead of the Budget session of Parliament, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien has written to members of the House, saying three police inquiries and two judicial processes have cleared him in the 17-year-old Suryanelli rape case.
Kurien, who is under attack since the victim demanded recently that he be made an accused in the case, has attached an elaborate note on the sequence of events along with his appeal – ‘kindly read in full and apply your judicious mind’.
The attempt by the senior Congress leader from Kerala to reach out to Rajya Sabha members assumes significance as it comes just ahead of the Budget session beginning on Thursday during which opposition is expected to rake up the issue with demands for his resignation.
The note titled ‘The Truth About Prof P J Kurien’ reads -- "This false allegation was investigated three times by senior-level police officers (two under the Left Front governments).
The Kerala high court has exonerated him and the Supreme Court confirmed the discharge in 2007. What more can Prof Kurien do to prove his innocence?"
The note alleges that the Communist Party of India-Marxist was ‘propagating falsehood’ by ‘trying to link’ the recent Supreme Court judgment in the case to the exoneration given to Kurien by the Kerala high court which was upheld by the Supreme Court.
"The Supreme Court recently set aside the Kerala high court acquittal of 35 accused in the main Suryanelli case. It must be noted here that Prof Kurien was not at all an accused in this case," says the note.
It says that the recent Supreme Court direction in the ‘main Suryanelli case’ to Kerala high court ‘does not involve (a) re-trial of the case, or (b) re-investigation of the case’ and "it is only for re-hearing the appeal of the convicts, who were acquitted by the Kerala high court".
"It is (a) reiterated that exoneration of Prof P J Kurien by the Kerala high court (in a private complaint filed by the girl) and the Kerala High Court's acquittal of the 35 accused persons, convicted by the trial court, were not linke at all," the note says.