Delhi, Dec 16,2019: A Delhi court Monday pronounced Kuldeep Sengar guilty of raping of a minor in Unnao in 2017. However, co-accused Shashi Singh has been acquitted in the case.
District and Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma, who reserved the judgment last week, had been hearing the case on a day-to-day basis since August 5 after it was transferred from a court in Lucknow on the Supreme Court’s directions. The court was given 45 days time to wrap up the trial.
Now aged 19, the woman was allegedly kidnapped and raped by Sengar in 2017. He was arrested in April last year, days after the girl threatened to set herself ablaze in front of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s home in Lucknow if the police didn’t file her complaint. The court has also framed charges against co-accused Shashi Singh. Sengar, a four-time BJP MLA from UP’s Bangermau, was expelled from the party in August 2019.
On July 28 this year, the car of the victim was hit by a truck and she was severely injured. The woman’s two aunts were killed in the accident and her family had alleged foul play. A special court was also held at AIIMS Hospital to record the statement of the woman, who was admitted there after she was air-lifted from a hospital in Lucknow.
Her father was allegedly framed in an illegal arms case and arrested on April 3, 2018. He died in judicial custody a few days later, on April 9. A local court has framed murder and other charges against the MLA, his brother Atul and nine others in the murder case.
The victim had written a letter to the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi stating that she faced threats by Sengar. The case was shifted outside Uttar Pradesh after that. During the trial in the rape case, which was held in-camera, thirteen prosecution witnesses and nine defence witnesses were examined. The mother and uncle of the rape survivor were the main witnesses in the case.
A special court was also held at AIIMS hospital to record the statement of the rape survivor, who was admitted there after she was air-lifted from a hospital in Lucknow following the car crash.
The court has framed charges against Sengar and Singh under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping or inducing a woman to compel for marriage), 376 (rape) and other relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.