This Article is From Jul 31, 2019

No Judge, Confusion Over Court As Unnao Teen's Rape Case Drags On

Unnao Rape Case: The girl and her family had written to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi about threats from the BJP lawmaker, Kuldeep Sengar, and men sent by him.

Kuldeep Sengar was arrested in April 2018 amid massive public scrutiny.

Highlights

  • The girl's family had alleged intense pressure to withdraw the case
  • The family alleged threats from jailed BJP lawmaker, men sent by him
  • Family's request for transferring case out of UP pending with top court
New Delhi:

Three days after a car crash left a teen rape survivor from Uttar Pradesh's Unnao critically wounded - an incident that her family alleges was plotted by the accused, a jailed BJP lawmaker - it has emerged that the family's request for transferring the case out of Uttar Pradesh is pending with the Supreme Court.

The girl and her family had written to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi about threats from the BJP lawmaker, Kuldeep Sengar, and men sent by him. They had alleged intense pressure to withdraw the case. The Chief Justice has directed the top court registry to submit details of the letter.

The letter is seen to add to growing evidence of delay in investigations into the case in BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh, which has earlier faced allegations of going soft on four-time party lawmaker Kuldeep Sengar.

The girl alleges she was raped by the politician and his aides when she went to him for a job in 2017. She went public with her allegations in April 2018, when she threatened suicide outside the home of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath if the police did not register her case.

Days before this, her father had been thrashed by Sengar's brother Atul. Instead of helping the badly wounded father the police arrested him on charges of carrying arms. The father died in custody a day after the girl went public.

After an outcry, Atul Sengar was arrested for murder.

Kuldeep Sengar was arrested in April 2018 amid massive public scrutiny.

In May 2018, the Allahabad High Court transferred the trial from the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) to the special CBI court, Lucknow.

Two months later, the CBI filed a chargesheet against Sengar and his aide Shashi Singh under several laws including a stringent law on sexual crimes against children.

The CBI court took note of the chargesheets in July 2018. But there has been no development in the case since.

When the Supreme Court last year ordered special courts to fast-track cases against lawmakers, the UP government set up a special court on August 21, 2018.

The trial, however, has not started for more than a year because of confusion on whether the special CBI court can continue with the case or whether it should transfer the case to the special court set up for lawmakers.

On April 15 this year, special CBI court judge Vatsal Srivastava was transferred to Gorakhpur, incidentally, the home base of Yogi Adityanath.

For the last three months, the trial is pending before a court without a judge.

Shockingly, though the trial is yet to begin and the court is without a Judge, the Allahabad High Court, which took up the case on its own and ordered a CBI probe, recorded the submission of amicus curiae Gopal Chaturvedi that the "entire investigation has already been completed, police report (chargesheet) has already been filed and charges too have been framed and "the trial is in progress".

For now, the Unnao case is left without a court or a judge.

NDTV has requested the CBI for a response on the delay in any movement in the case, but the agency has yet to respond.