New Delhi: A court in the capital on Monday found former Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar guilty of raping a minor girl in 2017. The incident took place in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh.
Co-accused Shashi Singh was acquitted by the court.
While convicting Sengar, the court questioned the Central Bureau of Investigation for taking an entire year to file the chargesheet. “I don’t know why the CBI took one year to file the chargesheet. It halted progress of the trial,” the New Indian Express quoted the court as saying.
Sengar and Singh had been charged 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.
District and Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma had reserved his judgment last week after hearing the case on a daily basis. The case was transferred to Delhi from Lucknow on the Supreme Court’s orders, and the judge was given 45 days to wrap up the case. The woman had written to the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi saying that was being threatened by the accused.
Sengar, a four-time MLA from Bangermau, was arrested in April 2018 – for allegedly gangraping a girl, then a minor aged 17, in June 2017 on the promise that they will help her get a job – after the survivor and her family attempted to commit suicide by self-immolation outside Adityanath’s residence in Lucknow after failing to get rape charges framed against Sengar.
However, the BJP took its own sweet time in expelling Sengar from the party – he was finally removed only in August 2019. Even after that, BJP leader’s have spoken in his defence. Even the residents on Unnao have held a rally in his support.
The woman’s road to justice has been long, and three of her relatives have lost their lives during the process. Sengar and his associates have also been accused of murdering the woman’s father while he was in police custody because of a false case in April 2018, and attempting to take the life of the woman in a hit-and-run case in July 2019. Two of the woman’s relatives were killed in the accident.