New Delhi, Jan 17 (Agencies): The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider a plea for a judicial inquiry into the alleged rape of a girl by Uttar Pradesh BSP MLA Purushottam Naresh Dwivedi in Banda.

A bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia decided to consider the desirability of a judicial probe into the incident as senior counsel Harish Salve, during the hearing of another plea linked to the issue of police reform, mentioned the incident, seeking an indpendent probe into it.

The bench asked Salve to file a formal application before the court for the probe before Friday when it would examine it.

During the hearing of a plea for expeditious implementation of September 2006 directions of the apex court on police reform, Salve mentioned the incident involving the BSP legislator and sought an inquiry by the Allahabad district judge or by someone from "outside the area".

He also sought the court's directions for a probe report to the bench within a week.

48-year-old Dwivedi was arrested in Banda last week for allegedly raping a 17-year-old Dalit girl who earlier worked as his maid.

The girl was allegedly raped on December 10 and 11 at the legislators's residence from where she escaped on December 12 when the MLA allegedly attempted to rape her again for the third time.

The girl, however, was arrested by the police in connection with an allegedly cooked up case of theft lodged by the legislator's brother against her.

Then girl had told her brother about the incident when she was produced before the court on December 24 in connection with theft charge.

I am getting threats from seniors: Jail warden

The Banda rape turned murkier on Monday with the warden of the district jail alleging that she was getting life threats from her senior officers for speaking against prime accused BSP MLA Purshottam Naresh Dwiwedi, prompting the state prison department to order an inquiry.

Shahnaz Begum alleged that during the course of CB-CID probe into the rape of a 17-year-old dalit girl by Dwiwedi and two of his aides, she was asked by her seniors to keep her mouth shut or face the consequences.

"I have been getting life threats from seniors, including the jailor and deputy jailor. I have also been removed from jail duty," Begum, warden of Banda district jail where the rape victim was lodged for a month on theft charges, said.

Following her complaint, Additional Director General, Prisons, V K Gupta said that that an inquiry has been ordered into the matter.

Shahnaz was the lone jail staffer who spoke against the BSP MLA during the CB-CID probe. She also threatened to immolate herself to protest against her alleged harassment.

"Whatever I have said is true and I will stand by it. I now want myself to be transferred from here (Banda)," she told reporters in Banda.

"Though the allegation seems to be very vague as the jail warden had not conveyed her fear during the visit of National Commission for Women and even CB-CID, we have ordered an inquiry into it," Gupta said.

He said that IG Prison, Yogesh Shukla has been asked to probe the allegations and submit his report to him by this evening.

Dwivedi, who represents Naraini seat in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, was on the run after orders for his arrest were issued in connection with the criminal assault.

The girl was allegedly raped on December 10-11 at the legislators's residence. She escaped from the MLA's house on December 12 when the MLA allegedly attempted rape for the third time and was arrested same day on theft charges.

She told her brother about the incident when she was produced before the court on December 24 in connection with theft charges.

The girl levelled the rape charge before the court on January 10 and it ordered immediate action.

CB-CID submitted a preliminary report and subsequently the state government ordered arrest of the MLA and an FIR was lodged against him.

His two aides --Rajendra Shukla and Surendra Neta-- have also been arrested in Banda district following an FIR against them and were remanded to judicial custody for 14 days by a Banda court. The third accused Ravan Garg is still absconding.

Cong delegation demands more security for party's Banda MLA
A Congress delegation on Monday sought the intervention of Uttar Pradesh Governor B L Joshi in ensuring more security to party's Banda Sadar MLA Vivek Singh,who it claimed has been getting threats for highlighting the Dalit girl rape case.

It also demanded restoration of protocol for the union ministers, "curtailed" recently by the state government.

A delegation led by UPCC president Rita Bahuguna Joshi met the Governor and submitted separate memorandums on the two issues.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Joshi said the Governor has been apprised as to how Vivek Singh had been getting death threats and despite a request to Chief Minister Mayawati his security has not been increased.

"The arrested BSP MLA, Purshottam Naresh Dwivedi has openly threatened to avenge the humiliation and it is the duty of the state government to ensure proper security of Vivek Singh," Joshi said, adding that the Governor has been requested to direct the state government in this regard.

The state Congress chief said that curtailment of protocol of union ministers visiting the state was also raised during the meeting.

"The state government is working in an arbitrary manner and acting against the constitutional traditions," she alleged.

She also claimed that Minister of state for petroleum, Jitin Prasad and Chairman of SC commission P L Punia were denied protocol by the state government.