Jaipur court issues notice to Nihalchand Meghwal in rape case

Union Minister Nihalchand Meghwal and 16 others were asked by a court here Thursday to appear before it on August 20 in connection with an alleged rape case.

The case originated on a complaint by a woman registered in 2011 in the Vaishali Nagar area here.

According to the woman’s lawyer Chandu Ram Yadav, the Additional District and Sessions Judge P P Gupta issued notices to 17 persons including Nihalchand, and the woman’s husband Omprakash Godara asking them to appear before his court on August 20.

Nihalchand, the Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertiliser, is the only MP from Rajasthan who was included in the Narendra Modi ministry.

The notices were issued by the court on a review petition filed by the 24-year-old married woman, Yadav said.

In the FIR filed in 2011, the victim named Nihalchand as one of the persons who allegedly exploited her sexually, Yadav said, adding the police closed the case in 2012.

The review petition was heard under section 376 of IPC (rape) after the Jaipur Metropolitan court accepted the Final Report(FR) of the police on February 10, 2014, Yadav said.

The Vaishali Nagar police had filed the FR on the victim’s FIR in 2012. The victim has alleged that her FIR was closed down under pressure, the lawyer said.

Congress demanded Nihalchand’s resignation following the court notice.

PCC President Sachin Pilot said the Minister had a “moral obligation” to resign after he was asked to appear before the court.

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