New Delhi: Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha P J Kurien on Wednesday sent a letter to lawmakers, declaring that rape charges brought against him were untrue.
The letter, that came a day before the Parliament meets for its Budget Session, followed fresh furore over the matter after after a Congress MP from Kerala called the victim of the 1996 Suryanelli gangrape case survivor a sex worker.
Congress MP K Sudhakaran made the remarks against the victim who has also named the Congress leader and Rajya Sabha deputy chairman Kurien as one of those who raped her though he was cleared in the case by all courts.
Sudhakaran reportedly said the girl could have escaped but she chose not to do so because she was benefitting.
The opposition Left in Kerala demanded an immediate apology from K Sudhakaran for his remarks about the Suryanelli rape case.
Earlier, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said Kurien should resign after the fresh uproar over the case.
In a statement, CPI-M said: "The surfacing of fresh evidence in the Suryanelli gangrape case concerning the involvement of P.J.Kurien comes in the background of the Supreme Court orders annulling the acquittal of 35 men by the Kerala High Court in 2005 and ordering a reexamination of the case.
"It should be noted that Kurien had got the benefit of this flawed judgement of the High Court when his petition not to be included as one of the accused was accepted by the High Court and Supreme Court in 2007. A reinvestigation is essential and Kurien should step down from his post of Dy. Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, till it is over."
Dharmarajan, a lawyer who was convicted in the 1996 Suryanelli case in which a 16-year-old girl was raped by scores of men for days, was earlier arrested in Karnataka and later produced in court in Kerala.
On the run since 2005, the arrest of Dharmarajan is crucial in the case which has again dragged PJ Kurien into the case after the victim said he was one of the men who raped her.
Dharmarajan has alleged that Kurien was involved in the gang-rape as claimed by the victim.
The rape victim in her letter on Jan 29 said Kurien along with other accused in the case had raped her in the Kumily panchayat guest house in Kerala.
The Supreme Court however had cleared him in the case.
The Suryanelli rape case is concerned with a 16-year-old girl who was raped by 42 men for 40 days in 1996 in the state.