HC breather for Rajen Gohain, likely to contest from Nagaon

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, March 25: In a major relief to Union minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain, the Gauhati High Court on Monday set aside an order by a trial court against him pertaining to an alleged rape charge and quashed the trial pending against him in the court of chief judicial magistrate of Nagaon.

Gohain, who is a contender for the BJP ticket to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls from Nagaon constituency, had earlier stated that he would not contest the polls until his name is cleared by the court in the rape allegation levelled against him.

Although the leaders of the saffron party said that the party has almost finalised the name of Nagaon Sadar MLA Rupak Sarmah to contest the polls in place of Gohain, the court order on Monday might pave way for the Union minister to lobby hard for the ticket to contest the polls.

The central election committee (CEC) is sitting in the national capital on Monday night to name the candidate for the Nagaon Lok Sabha seat. The outcome of the meeting is yet to be known.

A woman in August last year had lodged an FIR against Gohain alleging him of raping her and her sister and mentioned that although initially they protested the relationship yet they had remained silent about it due to the promise of job to them.

The complainant later also submitted a letter to the police saying that she had filed the complaint against Gohain due to some misunderstanding and that she wants to withdraw the complaint against the minister.

A single bench judge comprising Justice Suman Shyam issued the orders on Monday saying that the orders issued dated November 16 and November 17 held to be unsustainable in law and are accordingly set aside.

“Consequently, the proceeding registered and pending in the court of chief judicial magistrate Nagaon also stands quashed,” the order stated.

Hours after the court order, Gohain who collected nomination paper from Nagaon deputy commissioner’s office said it was a political conspiracy against him and pointed fingers at “party insiders”.

“I am happy. Few party insiders tried to act foul to tarnish my image,” Gohain said.

Gohain’s wife Rita Nath Gohain who recently broke down and hit out at media for “repeated attack” on the minister over the “sex scandal” said, “Now that the High Court has dismissed the allegations against him, I am very happy.”

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