A Delhi court on Monday directed that expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, accused of raping a minor girl at his residence in Unnao in 2017, be shifted to Tihar jail here from the Sitapur prison in Uttar Pradesh, and decided to hear arguments on framing of rape and other charges against him and others on 7 August.
Armed with the Supreme Court’s directive to hear the Unnao cases on day-to-day basis, District Judge Dharmesh Sharma put up first the rape case for August 7 and asked the lawyers to be ready to advance arguments on framing of charges against the lawmaker and other co-accused.
The apex court transferred four criminal cases from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi — the 2017 rape case; a fake matter under the Arms Act against the father of the rape survivor; his death in police custody, and the gang rape of the woman.
The packed courtroom in the Tis Hazari District Courts complex saw chaotic scenes when Sengar was being produced by the CBI as the lawyers, on-lookers and the media jostled to get inside to witness the proceedings.
In a hearing, which continued for almost an hour, the court also directed Sengar’s accomplice Shashi Singh, who had allegedly lured the minor into going to the legislator’s residence, to be shifted to Tihar jail.
When the hearing was almost over, Sengar approached the court to allow him some time to think over his legal representation as it was done in a rush.
To this, the judge said, “He is apprised that he may do so but at the same time ensure that whoever is his counsel, they should come prepared on each date of hearing.”
Both the accused were produced in the court amidst high security including about 20 police officials.
A ruckus was created outside the courtroom by lawyers raising slogans of “koi kanoon isko nahi chodega (no law will leave them)”, and they even said if Sengar was acquitted, inquiry will be initiated against the judge.
The woman, allegedly raped by Sengar in 2017 when she was a minor, is battling for life after a truck rammed into the car she was travelling in with some family members and her lawyer in Rae Bareli. Two of her aunts died in the accident on July 28, 2019.
Sengar and nine others were also booked for murder by the CBI in the accident case. The survivor’s family has alleged foul play.
The Supreme Court had last week directed to hold trial on a daily basis and completing it within 45-days along with a direction to all media houses not to disclose the identity of the victim directly, indirectly, or in any manner.
It had on August 2 put on hold its earlier order transferring the case of the collision from a Lucknow court to Delhi to enable the CBI to complete its investigation.
The top court had also directed that the survivor, her mother, other members of the family and their lawyer to be provided security by the CRPF and an officer of the level of commandant will file a compliance report forthwith.
Sengar, a four-time legislator who represents Bangermau in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, is the main accused in the rape case and is lodged in jail since April, 2018.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.