| Rupam Pathak |
Patna, Jan. 8: The high court today granted bail to Rupam Pathak, who was awarded life imprisonment by a lower court for killing then Purnea BJP legislator Rajkishore Keshari two years ago.
The court also expressed concern over the CBI’s probe into the case.
A division bench of Justice V.N. Sinha and Justice Shivaji Pandey granted bail to Rupam, who has been languishing for jail for two years and four days, and observed that her appeal would be heard in due course of time. Rupam had moved the high court, challenging the lower court’s verdict. A special CBI court in Patna had on April 10, 2012, sentenced her to life imprisonment under Section 302 of IPC for murdering Keshari.
Rupam, a principal of private school founded by her, was accused of stabbing Keshari to death at his ancestral house in Purnea on January 4, 2011.Her advocate Dinesh Kumar told The Telegraph that the high court accepted the appellant’s argument and granted bail to her.
“Since she is a woman with no criminal history, she is not likely to be a threat to society or the case. Her appeal is not likely to be heard in near future. So it is a case fit for bail,” the advocate said. “Had a rape case, as alleged by Rupam, been investigated properly and fairly, the MLA would not have been murdered,” he added.
Rupam had accused Keshari and his former personal assistant, Bipin Rai, of raping her on several occasions. In her complaint, she alleged that Keshari had raped her in his ancestral house in Purnea when she had gone to seek help for her school. Rai had, however, denied the charge.
The court took serious note of the fact that the CBI had investigated the murder case without taking the rape allegation into account. The CBI should have investigated the murder and rape cases simultaneously because “both were inter-connected”, Rupa-m’s advocate quoted the bench as saying.
The CBI, represented by advocate Bipin Kumar Sinha and the slain MLA’s counsel, Akhileshwar Prasad Singh, tried to counter Rupam’s plea for a simultaneous probe into the murder and rape cases.
The investigating agency said the rape case was “false”, as Rupam had retracted from her statement made under Section 164 of CrPC.
The bench, however, did not buy the CBI’s argument and said no woman would file a false case of rape and withdraw it later. Rupam is at present lodged in Beur Central Jail, where she was allegedly assaulted by an inmate on August 27, 2011, over fetching of water from a pump on the jail premises.