The Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant protection from arrest to newly-elected MP Atul Rai, from Ghosi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, is accused of raping a college girl. Rai is a leader of the Mahagathbandhan, a coalition of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party.

A vacation bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and comprising newly appointed Justice Aniruddha Bose refused to quash the FIR registered against Rai but allowed him to approach a competent jurisdictional court for bail.

A complaint alleging rape and fraud was lodged against Rai on 2 May at the Lanka police station in Varanasi following which the parliamentarian absconded. Rai, however, claimed that the charges were false and that he was avoiding arrest till he could seek relief from court.

His plea is pending before a Varanasi court and will be heard on 28 May.

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