Unnao rape case: Ex-MLA Sengar gets life imprisonment

Unnao rape case: Ex-MLA Sengar gets life imprisonment

Expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger was on Friday sentenced to “imprisonment till the remainder of his biological life” by a Delhi court, four days after being held guilty of kidnapping and rape of a minor girl in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district in 2017.

District and sessions judge Dharmesh Sharma also imposed Rs 25 lakh fine on the Uttar Pradesh legislator, who stood disqualified upon his conviction, as per the Representation of People Act. The court also directed him to pay an additional sum of Rs 10 lakh as ex-gratia to the victim.

Out of Rs 25 lakh fine, a sum of Rs 15 lakh would be paid to the Uttar Pradesh government towards defraying of expenses incurred during his prosecution, the court said.

The court also directed the UP government to pay Rs 15,000 per month for the rented accommodation to the victim and her family, for a period of one year. The accommodation was arranged by the social workers connected to the Delhi Commission for Women.

It also ordered the CBI to ensure that the victim and her family members would remain secure with changed identities if desired by them.

In arguments on sentence, Senger's lawyer contended he was the sole breadwinner in the family. It was also pointed out that he had a family, including daughters, to take care. The prosecution, for its part, sought the imposition of maximum penalty upon him.

On December 16, the court had convicted him of various offences under the Indian Penal Code and the POSCO Act on the basis of “unblemished and truthful” version of the victim.

The court had also said the investigation in the case by the CBI has not been fair, as it repeatedly called the victim to its office and delayed for over one year in filing a charge sheet.

“The instant case manifests the multitudes of restrictions and taboos within which many women in the rural areas are brought up,” judge had said, highlighting the background of the case where the victim raised her voice against a powerful local politician.

The case has caused a big embarrassment for the BJP government as the victim, who hailed from village of the accused MLA in Unnao, was left critically injured and two of her had aunts died in a suspicious road accident at Rae Bareli in July. The trial was shifted to the Delhi court on an order by the Supreme Court.

The victim's father had also died during the judicial custody after his arrest in a separate case. The case did not get any attention from Uttar Pradesh police until the victim last year tried to set herself on fire.

Sengar, 53, a four-time MLA from UP's Bangermau, was expelled from the party in August 2019.

The top court had in August allowed a plea by the mother of the Unnao rape victim to airlift her from Lucknow to Delhi's AIIMS as she had developed pneumonia in her battle for life after the road accident.

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