In a setback to newly elected BSP MP Atul Rai, the Supreme Court Monday refused to grant him protection from arrest in a rape case while noting that 16 other criminal cases were pending against him.
A vacation bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Aniruddha Bose said it was not inclined to entertain the petition of Rai, who has won Lok Sabha election from Ghosi constituency in Uttar Pradesh by a margin of more than one lakh votes.
At the outset, the bench asked the counsel for Rai about the number of criminal cases were pending against him.
The counsel replied that the MP had 16 criminal cases pending against him and he was out on bail in all the cases except the rape case.
The counsel also said that Rai had sought that the FIR against him in the rape case be quashed.
"Sorry, we are not inclined to entertain this petition. Dismiss," the bench said.
The counsel then sought to withdraw the petition which was allowed by the court.
"Counsel for the petitioner seeks leave of this Court to withdraw the present special leave petition. The special leave petition is dismissed as withdrawn," the bench said.
Earlier on May 17, the apex court had refused to grant interim protection from arrest to Rai who was then a SP-BSP alliance candidate from Ghosi Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
Rai, who was accused of raping a college student from Varanasi had then sought interim protection from arrest saying polling in his constituency was scheduled on May 19.
"It is not a case for quashing. Fight it out. Fight the election and this case too," the top court had told him.
An FIR was registered against Rai on May 1 on a complaint by a college student who had alleged that he took her home on the pretext of meeting his wife but sexually assaulted her.
The SP-BSP alliance candidate, who has denied the rape allegations, has been on the run since the lodging of the FIR.
Rai had contended that there was no provision of anticipatory bail in Uttar Pradesh and the high court had on May 8 dismissed his petition seeking protection from arrest.
Ghosi constituency falls in Mau district of Uttar Pradesh.