In a major relief to the suspended IAS, former chief secretary of Andaman, Jitendra Narain, the Supreme Court dismissed all pleas against the bail granted to him in a Port Blair rape case.
“We have dismissed all the petitions,” an apex court bench of Justices Vikram Nath and A Amanullah said, adding that it has also directed the trial court to expedite the trial while all cooperation will be extended by the “respective parties”.
The apex court was moved by the complainant woman after the Calcutta High Court's bench in Port Blair granted Narain bail on February 20.
The rape survivor in her petition has said that “unless the bail order of February 20, 2023 is quashed and/or set aside and stayed, unless the principal accused is directed to surrender before the Chief Judicial Magistrate at Port Blair and unless the police authority is directed to take the principal accused (Narain) into custody”, he may destroy evidence taking advantage of the bail.
“Narain was given conditional bail. Among the conditions is that he cannot enter Andaman and Nicobar Island unless called for, he will not use officers to influence the witness, he cannot make phone calls to any officers and the victim party, he will deposit his passport and cannot leave India.”
Narain was suspended by the Centre in October last year following the allegations made by a 21-year-old woman in Port Blair.
Jitendra Narain, a 1990-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre, has been accused, along with some officials, of raing a woman.
The sexual allegation had come into the open after a 21-year-old woman alleged that the former Chief Secretary Jitendra Narain and the then Labour commissioner of Andaman and Nicobar Islands R.L. Rishi sexually exploited her and was subjected to gang-rape.
The woman had alleged that she was introduced to Labour commissioner Rishi through a known person and was taken to the residence of the then Chief Secretary Narain.
The woman in her complaint alleged that she was offered alcohol at Narain's residence and when she declined it she was forcibly raped and sexually assaulted by the Chief Secretary and the Labour Commissioner.
There were reports that the Call Data Records (CDR)s of the two bureaucrats and of the 20-year-old matched with the time of sexual assault as complained by her. The tower location of the woman and two senior officers matched her allegation.
It was also alleged that the hard disk of the CCTV camera at the Chief Secretary's residence was erased and the Digital Video Recorder was also removed from the residence while he was transferred from Port Blair to New Delhi.
The former Chief Secretary was later suspended by the Union Home Ministry after reports came out on his sexual forays.
Jitendra Narain had written to the Union Home Ministry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands that a conspiracy was against him and that he had proof to demonstrate the fake nature of the case.
Who is Jitendra Narain
Born in October 1966 to the influential Raibahadur family in Bihar's Begusarai, Narain became an IAS officer in 1990 and was appointed as the chief secretary of Andaman and Nicobar islands in March this year. He did his schooling from St. Paul, Darjeeling. He did his BA and MA in History from St Stephens, Delhi University.
Known to be an upright officers to many, Narain never fell shy of controversies. He took actions on high-profile cases of corruption when it was an unsaid practice for other officers to let them be as they are. He came in the limelight for the first time when he boldly carried out raids in Chandra Swami's ashrams during the latter's heydays under the premiership of PV Narsimha Rao. For doing this, he was immediately removed from his post.
During the chief ministership of Sheila Dixit, he raided six adoption houses that were indulging in illegal actions. The crackdown created much uproar and political heartburn but led to large-scale reform in adoption by the government. He also exposed the racket of pensions to over 30,000 dead persons and then also made a transparent and improved system of verification. During his stint with Municipal Corporation Delhi (MCD), he took a stand against the whims of the now-infamous meat Mafia in the tender of slaughterhouses, much to the chagrin of the then Commissioner and the political bosses.
When he was the Labour Commissioner of Delhi, he ordered the prosecution and sealing of one of the largest and most connected private builders of India for serious violations. For taking his stand, he was again promptly transferred out of Delhi to the tough terrains of Arunachal Pradesh for the second time.