Unnao rape: SC transfers 5 cases from UP to Delhi

The top court also directs UP government to pay a Rs 25-lakh compensation to survivor

The Supreme Court of India, in New Delhi, Thursday, Aug 1, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The Supreme Court on Thursday transferred five cases related to the rape of a girl in Unnao — including the suspected killing of two of her relatives in a road accident on July 28 — from Lucknow to Delhi.

The court also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to pay a compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the 19-year-old victim, battling for life after she was critically injured in Sunday’s accident in Raebareli.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose passed an ex parte interim order for transferring the cases involving BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is already in jail on charges of raping the teen in 2017.

In its order, the court directed for providing CRPF security forthwith to the victim and her family members at the instance of amicus curiae, senior advocate V Giri, who also sought exemplary compensation to the victim for suffering horrible trauma as well as considering the fact that her father had died in police custody.

As a Supreme Court official intervened to say the compensation has to be as per statute, the court retorted with anguish, “What is going on in this country!”

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The court gave the CBI — entrusted with the probe and prosecution of all five cases — seven days’ time to complete its investigation into the road accident involving the victim’s car on Sunday, and “in any circumstances not more than a fortnight”, rejecting its plea for at least 30 days.

The court ordered that the trial in the cases that are being shifted to a designated special court in Delhi be completed in 45 days.

The court directed CBI joint director Sampat Meena to ascertain if the victim and her lawyer Mahendra Singh, who were on a ventilator in a Lucknow hospital, could be airlifted to Delhi.

On being informed by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that both were medically fit to be airlifted, the court asked her lawyer to inform by Friday if they were willing to be shifted to a Delhi hospital for further treatment. The court also decided to consider on Friday if the victim’s uncle, who has been convicted in an attempt to rape and sentenced to 10-year jail, can be shifted to Tihar here due to a threat to his life.

At the outset of the hearing, the court indicated to transfer the trials in the rape case involving BJP MLA Sengar as well as the subsequent accident case, which resulted in the death of two aunts of the rape victim, outside Uttar Pradesh.

It asked Mehta to present the progress report of the investigation and other details before the court.

On Thursday, the secretary-general also informed the court that every month, the Supreme Court received over 5,500 PILs which were screened and put up for necessary action. In the month of July, as many as 6,900 such letters were received and in the case of Unnao victim's letter, the officials were not supposed to know her name, asserting that there was no delay on its part on putting it before the CJI.

On Sunday, the car in which the 19-year old rape victim, her family and lawyer were travelling was hit by a speeding truck in Raebareli, killing the two family members and leaving her and the advocate critically injured.

Following an uproar, police registered a case of murder against Sengar, the BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh's Bangermau. The four-time MLA who was accused of raping the victim, has been in jail since April, last year.

Subsequently, the CBI, which investigated the rape case, was recommended by the state government to take up the road accident case as well.

 

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