New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the CBI to complete its investigation into the Unnao case within two weeks. In the pre-lunch session, the court observed that the agency should finish the investigation within a week, but in the formal orders, gave it two weeks.
The matter was listed for Thursday after news surfaced that the rape survivor had written a letter to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi two weeks before her car was rammed by a truck, leaving her in critical condition.
According to LiveLaw, the court also transferred the trial of all the four Unnao cases out of Lucknow to Delhi, while also asking the UP government to pay a compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the victim’s family by Friday. The family and lawyer should be provided CRPF protection, the court said.
After asking solicitor general Tushar Mehta if the victim’s condition allows her to be air-lifted to Delhi, the court was informed that it would be possible. If the family so chooses, the victim and her lawyer should be provided treatment at AIIMS, Delhi.
The apex court also directed that the trial should be completed within 45 days, on a day-to-day basis. The judge who will be assigned the case will be identified later, CJI Gogoi said.
Before the orders were issued, CJI Gogoi sought full details of the CBI’s probe by 12 pm, and said if the investigating officers cannot disclose details in open court, then they would be heard in chambers. While bench sought the presence of a “responsible” investigating officer before it, the court was informed that the officers were in Lucknow. Solicitor general Mehta asked for an adjournment, but the CJI directed the CBI director to brief the court instead.
Unnao rape&accident: Solicitor General T Mehta informs CJI that he spoke with CBI directorOfficers investigating the case are in Lucknow&it wouldn’t be possible for them to reach Delhi by 12 PM. He asks if it could be taken up tomorrow, CJI refuses to adjourn matter for tomorrow.
— ANI (@ANI) August 1, 2019
The CBI, through Mehta, informed the apex court that four FIRs had been filed. In three of these cases, the CBI has filed the chargesheet and is typing out the fourth, the court was informed. According to the information given by the CBI, the victim was raped on July 4, 2017 and her father was falsely charged under the Arms Act. He died in custody, after being beaten up. The victim and her mother were gangraped on July 11, the CBI said.
CBI gives details:
Victim was raped on July 4, 2017
Victim’s father was falsely charged under Arms Act, beaten up and died in custody.
Victim and her mother was gangraped by son of the accused in the first rape case on July 11 @the_hindu
— Krishnadas Rajagopal (@kdrajagopal) August 1, 2019
CJI Gogoi has questioned on Wednesday why the letter petition written by the survivor apparently never reached him. Solicitor general Mehta on Thursday explained that the delay was because the court’s secretary general had to screen almost 7,000 letters petitions. The identity of the victim was also not known, he said.
#UnnaoCase : SC Secretary General explains delay saying this month Registry has received more than 6900 letter petitions and when screening process was on and the victims name was not known…..@LiveLawIndia
— Prabhati N. Mishra (@Prabhati_Mishra) August 1, 2019
The 19-year-old woman was allegedly raped two years ago by Sengar at his residence in Unnao. On Sunday, she was travelling with her family members and lawyer when their car was hit by a speeding truck in the northern state’s Rae Bareli district. Two of her aunts were killed in the incident, while she and her lawyer are seriously injured.
The woman’s family has filed a complaint alleging “conspiracy” behind the car crash. While the state police initially filed an FIR against Sengar and nine others for murder, the case was transferred to the CBI. The CBI has charged 25 people, including for murder and conspiracy.
UP minister’s son-in-law charged
The CBI has meanwhile filed an FIR against the son-in-law of UP’s agriculture minister for murder and conspiracy. Apart from suspended BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the main accused, and his associates, Arun Singh, UP agriculture minister Ranvendra Pratap Singh’s son-in-law, has been charged by the investigative agency for conspiring and orchestrating the collision in which the Unnao rape survivor was critically injured.
According to the Indian Express, a CBI team and forensic experts visited the spot where the collision took place and collected samples.
Arun Singh is the block pramukh of the Nawabganj panchayat samiti in Unnao. Singh told The Hindu he was “innocent”. “I have never seen the victim and I don’t even know where their house is,” he told the newspaper, claiming that he had not met Sengar in more than six months. He also stated his readiness to “undergo a narco test and cooperate with any agency”.
According to the Indian Express, BJP’s UP state spokesperson Harish Srivastava said, “After Yogi Adityanath took the oath, he said that from now on “aam” and “khaas” would be same in the eyes of the law. The BJP government stands with that statement. No matter how influential someone is, if they are found involved in crime then action will be taken against them as per the provisions of the law.”