Former Bhartiya Janata Party MLA from Unnao Kuldeep Singh Sengar has been found guilty of raping a minor in 2017 by Delhi Court on Monday. However, co-accused Shashi Singh has been acquitted in the case. The quantum of punishment will be decided on December 18.

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.

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.

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 woman was allegedly kidnapped and raped by Sengar in 2017. He was arrested in April last year, days after the girl threatened to set herself ablaze in front of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s home in Lucknow if the police didn’t file her complaint. Sengar, a four-time BJP MLA from UP’s Bangermau, was expelled from the party in August 2019.

Her father was allegedly framed in an illegal arms case and arrested on April 3, 2018. He died in judicial custody a few days later, on April 9. A local court has framed murder and other charges against the MLA, his brother Atul and nine others in the murder case.

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.