Chandigarh, Dec. 24: Haryana bureaucrat N.K. Jain, wanted in an alleged rape frame-up case, was arrested yesterday outside the CBI office and was today remanded in police custody for two days.
The former Chandigarh home secretary was accused of trying to frame a local businessman with raping a 20-year-old Shimla resident on August 16.
Jain is the second senior Haryana officer to be arrested in the last three months. Earlier, Delhi police had arrested IPS officer R.K. Sharma in Ambala in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case.
Jain, the special secretary, health, was absconding after the police filed a chargesheet against him for hatching a conspiracy to frame computer institute owner M.K. Jain and settle scores. He was arrested when he went to the CBI office for a hearing in a corruption case filed against him in May 2000, when he was home secretary of Chandigarh Union territory.
Jain was taken to the deputy superintendent of police’s office for interrogation and later to the general hospital for a check-up.
On December 21, the police had pasted proclamation notices outside his Sector 7 home and at two other public places. The notices directed Jain to appear before the court of the judicial magistrate class I before January 30 or be declared a proclaimed offender.
His arrest is being considered a “major” victory for the police, which cracked the case under difficult circumstances.
The case had started with “eyewitnesses” Baldev Kumar’s and Surinder Sharma’s complaint that the Shimla girl was pushed out of a car belonging to M.K. Jain near a petrol pump on August 16 after being raped. The two told the police the car’s number.
The police booked M.K. Jain after recording the girl’s statement. Investigations, however, revealed a mismatch in the statements of the “eyewitnesses” and the girl.
“From the beginning when the ‘rape victim’ was found on the road and M.K. Jain was interrogated, we realised something was amiss,” an investigating officer said.
“The suspicion arose when we examined the eyewitnesses’ and the girl’s claims. We found they could not be trusted and could well have been involved in a frame-up.”
The breakthrough came when the girl moved Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking directions to the administration and other respondents to protect her life and liberty.
Armed with substantial evidence of a frame-up, Chandigarh police then booked the “eyewitnesses” for gangrape, criminal conspiracy and extortion.
Baldev’s and Surinder’s interrogation led the police to contractor Ramlal Chaudhary, who had plotted the frame-up. Chaudhary named N.K. Jain, at whose behest he said he hatched the conspiracy to frame M.K. Jain.
Local constable Narvir Singh, too, was implicated and arrested.
After the arrests of the “eyewitnesses”, Chaudhary and Narvir, N.K. Jain was named the main conspirator and the girl the “co-conspirator”.
The court let off the girl on anticipatory bail. N.K. Jain’s petition for anticipatory bail, however, was rejected on December 11. Four days later, the police, armed with a non-bailable warrant, began hunting for him.
M.K. Jain’s family said he pleaded his innocence right from the beginning. He had said he was innocent and his car, too, had no role in the case.
An unruffled N.K. Jain defended himself, saying he had no hand in the alleged frame-up. “I will speak when the right time comes. I am being framed. They could have arrested me earlier as I have been visiting the CBI office every Monday,” he said in court today.
He was remanded in police custody for two days.