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Unnao rape case: Delhi court defers sentencing of ex-BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar to Dec 20

Meanwhile, the CBI, while terming the Unnao victim’s case ‘an extraordinary one’, has asked for maximum punishment to be awarded to expelled BJP MLA.

SNS | New Delhi |

Delhi’s Tis Hazari Court, which on Monday found Bhartiya Janata Party MLA from Unnao Kuldeep Singh Sengar guilty of raping a minor in 2017, has adjourned the arguments on the quantum of punishment for December 20.

The special court also sought the copy of the affidavit of Sengar had filed during 2017 in the Election Commission.

The co-accused Shashi Singh has been acquitted in the case.

The court has framed charges against Sengar and Singh under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 363 (kidnapping), 366 (kidnapping or inducing a woman to compel for marriage), 376 (rape) and other relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Meanwhile, the CBI, while terming the Unnao victim’s case “an extraordinary one”, asked for maximum punishment to be awarded to expelled BJP MLA.

CBI’s Additional SPP Bhartendu argued that rape “is not only a physical assault but it causes immense mental trauma too” and “undue sympathy may disrupt the balance of sentence which would, in turn, hamper its societal impact”.

The District and Sessions Court had reserved the judgment last week and had been hearing the case on a day-to-day basis since August 5 after it was transferred from a court in Lucknow on the Supreme Court’s directions. The court was given 45 days time to wrap up the trial. The apex court gave the order after the victim met with an accident which killed her both aunts and left her and her lawyer in a critical condition.

The Unnao woman was allegedly kidnapped and raped by Sengar in 2017 when she was a minor. The rape complaint, however, was registered only after she attempted to immolate herself outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s official residence in Lucknow.

She took the extreme step after her father was thrashed by Sengar’s brother, Atul Sengar, taken to jail instead of the hospital even though he was grievously injured and died two days later in police custody. The matter came to light after a video clip showing Atul Sengar beating the father went viral on the social media.

Amidst public outrage, the case was transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and both the Sengars and two others were arrested.

On July 28, the car in which the rape survivor, her lawyer and two of her aunts were travelling, was hit by a speeding truck in Rae Bareli. The accident killed both her aunts and left the other two seriously injured. Brought to AIIMS Delhi, both the rape survivor and her lawyer remained on advanced life support system. The car crash too is being investigated after it was alleged that the accident was Sengar’s move to kill the victim.

A special court was also held at AIIMS hospital to record the statement of the rape survivor.

The case was shifted outside Uttar Pradesh after the victim had written a letter to the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi stating that she faced threats by Sengar. During the trial in the rape case, which was held in-camera, thirteen prosecution witnesses and nine defence witnesses were examined. The mother and uncle of the rape survivor were the main witnesses in the case.