After much furore, Palakkad Child Welfare Committee chairperson N Rajesh who appeared for one of the accused in the Walayar rape case has been removed from his post. Before his appointment as CWC chairman, Rajesh had appeared for Pradeep Kumar, one of the four men accused of raping 2 minor girls in Walayar, who was acquitted by the court. The CWC is a committee set up by all states under the Juvenile Justice Act 2015 and performs a wide array of duties including rehabilitation of sexually abused children.
The decision to remove Rajesh came after several people including state Health Minister KK Shailaja Teacher pointed out that a Child Welfare Committee Chairperson had represented a defendant in a child rape case.
Advocate N Rajesh had initially appeared for Pradeep Kumar in the case. However, during the trial stage, the state government appointed him as the Pakakkad Child Welfare Committee Chairperson in the district. This is when he handed over the case to another lawyer. However, the incident has led to further suspicions in the case with protestors questioning the governmentâ€™s move of appointing Rajesh as the Chairperson and whether he had interfered with the investigation and trial at any point.
Rajesh has also been accused of helping the defendants by learning the prosecutionâ€™s arguments in advance. The allegations were also raised in the state Assembly which convened on Monday.
The action against Rajesh also came after a report by the Director General of Prosecution - the state Public Prosecutor which delivers legal opinions in important cases.