A Delhi Court today convicted expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in the 2017 Unnao rape case.The Court has convicted Sengar for commission of offences under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 5(c) and 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The order was passed this afternoon by District and Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma.
However, the Court acquitted co-accused, Shashi Singh, after extending her the benefit of doubt.
The Court stated that the prosecution has successfully proved that the rape survivor was minor and that she was sexually assaulted by Sengar.
While convicting Sengar, the Court rejected Sengar’s alibi that he was not present at the place of the crime. The Court observed that as per Sengar’s mobile record, he was at such a distance from crime scene which was “easily coverable”. The Court also rejected the defence objections that the crime was reported much later and that it was orchestrated by the survivor’s uncle. The Court observed that the survivor did not “utter any word” in view of the threat to her life and her family.
The trial in the case was held in-camera. The matter would be taken up next on December 17 on the point of sentencing.
The Unnao rape survivor, a minor, was allegedly kidnapped and raped by Sengar between June 11-20, 2017. She was then sold for Rs. 60,000, after which she was recovered at the Maakhi police station.
The survivor was thereafter continuously threatened and warned by the police officials against speaking, as instructed by Sengar.
After running from pillar to post, an FIR finally came to be recorded against Sengar under Sections 363, 366, 376, 506 IPC and 3/4 of the POCSO Act in April 2018. The Allahabad High Court even ordered the arrest of Sengar for the alleged rape of the 15-year-old survivor in 2017.
Earlier this year, the Unnao rape case took a controversial turn after a lorry without a number plate rammed into the car in which the victim was travelling. The victim and her lawyer were critically injured, while two of her aunts passed away.
|Unnao Rape: Allahabad HC orders arrest of Kuldeep Sengar, hands investigation to CBICases pending against Kuldeep Singh Sengar are Section 171 IPC (Source: Election Affidavit)|
Subsequently, the Supreme Court transferred the trial in all four cases relating to the Unnao rape case to Delhi from Lucknow and ordered that the same be held on a day-to-day basis and completed within 45 days.
Following the transfer, charges against under Sections 120 B, 363, 366, 376 and other relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act were framed.
The other cases which are pending before Court in relation to the Unnao rape case include cases pertaining to the death of the survivor’s father in judicial custody following an illegal firearms case against him, the involvement of Sengar and others in the accident case and the gang rape of the rape survivor by three others.
Feature image courtesy: Financial Express