New Delhi, May 15: The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a plea by Forward Bloc MP Bir Singh Mahato seeking to stay his conviction and sentence for raping a housewife in Purulia.
Mahato, who has been sentenced by a trial court to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment, moved a special leave petition in the apex court asking for a breather to attend Parliament.
The MP and three others have been convicted for gangraping a woman in Baghmundi village in 1982.
Mahato’s lawyer R.K. Kapoor told the bench headed by Justice B.P. Singh that he would appeal in Delhi High Court against the trial court sentence delivered on May 12. But that would take time and the MP would not be able to attend the ongoing session of Parliament, he argued.
With no relief in sight, Kapoor decided to withdraw the special leave petition. Besides, if the apex court dismissed his plea, it would scuttle his chance of filing an appeal in the high court.
The apex bench did not say anything on the withdrawal plea as it was not listed.
A special leave petition, under Article 136, is an extraordinary provision in the Constitution which allows a person to directly approach the Supreme Court against any court order at any stage of a case.
Along with Mahato, a five-time MP from Purulia, Tipu Kamar, Dhansingh Murmu and Budhu Murmu were sentenced by the trial court. A fifth accused died during pendency of the trial.
Mahato, then a secretariat member of the Forward Bloc’s Purulia unit, raped a housewife in November 1982. He was chargesheeted the following year, but the case remained buried for over two decades until a fast-track court dug it up last September.