The Supreme Court has granted the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI two extra weeks to complete its probe into last month's accident involving the Unnao rape survivor, in which the car she, her family and her lawyer were travelling in was rammed off the road by a speeding truck with blackened number plates.
The agency had asked for four extra weeks, citing the need to record statements from the survivor and her lawyer, both of whom were injured in the crash and remain in critical condition at AIIMS in Delhi.
On July 28, the teen girl, who has accused expelled BJP lawmaker Kuldeep Sengar, 53, of raping her in 2017 when she went to him looking for a job, was travelling in a Swift Dzire sedan when the truck hit them. Two of the survivor's relatives died in the accident, one of whom was a witness to the rape.
Taking action in the matter, the Supreme Court directed that all cases linked to the teen's rape be transferred to Delhi. It also gave the CBI a week to complete investigations into the crash; provisions were made for additional time, if needed.
The top court bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, also stated that the trial in the remaining four cases, including the rape case and that involving the murder of the survivor's father, be completed within 45 days.
Spurred into action by the top court's ruling, the CBI assigned 20 additional officers to fast-track the car crash probe, taking the total strength of the team to 25. In addition, a six-member forensic team took part in a reconstruction of the crash at the scene of the accident.
CBI teams also conducted raids at 17 places across Uttar Pradesh. A team also visited Sitapur Jail, where Kuldeep Sengar was held at the time of the crash, to check visitor records; they found that over 10,000 people had visited him in the past year, including BJP parliamentarian Sakshi Maharaj.
The rape survivor's family has alleged Kuldeep Sengar orchestrated the attack from inside prison. Her mother claimed the accident was meant to "eliminate" her daughter.
Three police officers accused of providing him with information regarding the teen's movements on the day were suspended. The suspended officers were part of a security detail that did not travel with the rape survivor on the day.
Meanwhile, the top court has also ordered interim payment of Rs 5 lakh as compensation for the lawyer.