Situation became tense this morning outside a courtroom at Tis Hazari District Court's Complex in New Delhi as soon as lawyers were told that the judge would pronounce at 3 pm the verdict in the 2017 Unnao rape case.
District Judge Dharmesh Sharma convicted expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar of kidnapping and raping a young girl from Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district two years ago.
Family members and relatives of Kuldeep Sengar and co-accused Shashi Singh, who was acquitted by the court, flocked the hall outside the courtroom for the judgement.
While some said it is a case of acquittal for the defence have concrete evidence against the prosecution, others said even if it is conviction, they will challenge it in the higher courts.
A police officer who was in-charge of the security at the court premises said the exact date and time should not be made public in the media as crowd control becomes difficult.
Around 2:15pm, the proceedings started with the judge asking for some clarifications from the counsel for the CBI and the accused. No one except the lawyers of both the parties and media personnel were allowed inside the courtroom.
Kuldeep Sengar and Shashi Singh were brought to the courtroom amid high security, including about 20 officials from the Delhi police, CRPF and female police officers, at 2:45pm.
Moments after the judgement was pronounced convicting Kuldeep Sengar, his family members broke down. As the former MLA's sister entered the courtroom and broke down beside him, Kuldeep Sengar too shed a few tears.
Kuldeep Sengar's sister was seen crying before the pronouncement of the verdict too as she had heard from one of her relatives that there were possibilities of his brother's conviction.
His brother-in-law and around 20 other relatives from his village broke down too outside the courtroom.
Meanwhile, as the judge started pronouncing the verdict for Shashi Singh, she fainted. Shashi Singh was accused of taking the rape survivor to Kuldeep Singh Sengar.
When she was brought to her senses, she started crying inconsolably.
The judge told her she was acquitted and then asked if they needed to call a doctor and ensure she was fine.
While Kuldeep Sengar was taken out from the courtroom to the lockup, the crowd outside tried to follow him but the situation was managed with the intervention of his lawyer.
Kuldeep Sengar's two daughters also burst into tears as their aunt tried to console them that their father did not do anything wrong and the fight was not over.
"The judgement was wrong and unfair. The fight is not over. We will fight," she told them.
The convict's lawyers said they will appeal against the verdict at higher courts.
The trial which started on August 5 this year after it was transferred from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh to Delhi on the Supreme Court's directions, was carried on a day-to-day basis.
The court convicted Kuldeep Sengar, saying the rape survivor's testimony was "truthful and unblemished" against a "powerful person".
Sentencing is scheduled for tomorrow with the maximum possible punishment being life imprisonment.