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Brijesh Thakur challenges conviction in Muzaffarpur shelter home case, Delhi HC issues notice

ANI | Updated: Jul 22, 2020 13:22 IST

New Delhi [India], July 22 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the CBI on the appeal filed by Brijesh Thakur, convicted for sexually assaulting girls at Muzaffarpur shelter home, challenging the trial court order convicting and sentencing him life imprisonment.
A division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar, while admitting the appeal filed by the Brajesh Thakur through advocate Pramod Dubey, issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and listed the matter for hearing on August 25.
According to the lawyers, the trial court had conducted hearing in the matter in a "hurried manner" and thus it had violated his right to a free and fair trial as guaranteed under the Constitution of India.
Thakur through his appeal has sought to quash the trial court order convicting and sentencing him, along with 18 others, dated January 20 and February 11 respectively. Brijesh Thakur was the owner of the NGO called Sewa Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti and managed the place where the incident took place.
"The hurried manner in which the trial was conducted by the Special Judge, (POCSO), Saket was a flagrant violation of inter alia the right of the appellant to a free and fair trial guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India and lawful applications and submissions/ requests made by and on behalf of the Appellant were dismissed in a mechanical manner without due application of judicial mind with a view to somehow conclude the trial," Thakur's appeal said.

He further submitted that due to the pace at which the trial was conducted and the arduous hours which extended beyond normal court timings on a regular basis the appellant was denied his statutory and fundamental right.
The appeal also said that the trial court has failed to appreciate that a case relating to rape the prosecution must first and foremost establish that an accused is potent and thereby capable of committing the alleged act.
"The said fact (potent) needs to be established by the prosecution as a foundational fact without which the entire case of the prosecution will collapse. For that the Trial Court has failed to appreciate that there is no presumption under law that a person who is more than 50 years of age and admittedly suffering from high blood sugar has to be potent," the appeal said.
"In the present case neither the Bihar Police nor the CBI has conducted the potency test of the accused Brijesh Thakur and despite examining his wife did not place her statement under section 161 Cr.P.C. on record and thereby the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the first foremost and most important fact which is a pre-requisite in a rape case i.e. the fact that an accused who is charged of rape is in fact capable of committing rape," it added.
The Supreme Court had transferred the case from Bihar to a Delhi court and ordered the judge to complete it within six months, following which the trial court framed charges against 20 accused in the case.
The incident had come to light in the year 2018 after the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) filed an affidavit detailing horrifying sexual abuse cases at the shelter homes. (ANI)