SC sets two-week deadline to finish probe into Unnao rape case

SC to transfer Unnao rape case from UP to New Delhi
Women activists stage a protest demonstration over the Unnao case, outside the UP Bhawan, in New Delhi, Tuesday. Photo: PTI
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday shifted all five cases registered in connection with the Unnao rape incident from a court in Uttar Pradesh to a court in the national capital.

The apex court also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide Rs 25 lakh to the rape survivor as an interim compensation.

SC has assigned a special judge to conduct day-to-day trial.

The court has granted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) two weeks' time to conclude the investigation into the truck-car accident of Sunday which left the rape victim and her lawyer in critical condition and her two aunts dead.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi made it clear that the agency can only seek extension of time for probe in the accident case in exceptional circumstances.

The court has ordered that the trial should be completed within 45 days.

The court also took note of the oral instructions received by the CBI from the doctors of the King George Medical College Hospital that both the woman and her lawyer are in the condition to be airlifted to AIIMS, New Delhi.

It will however pass the order in this regard after receiving instruction from their family members.

The Rae Bareli CRPF Commandment has been asked to provide adequate security to the victim's family which has alleged threats from BJP lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his henchmen.

The court will hear the Unnao case again on Friday.

BJP expels Sengar

UP minister's kin named in FIR on Unnao victim's car crash
A truck hit the car carrying the rape survivor, her family and lawyer when they were going to meet the victim's uncle Mahesh Singh, who is lodged in the Raebareli jail, on July 28.

The BJP on Thursday expelled its jailed Uttar Pradesh lawmaker Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is accused of raping a minor girl from Unnao.

The party has expelled Sengar, BJP sources said.

The action came days after the Sengar was booked for murder after the girl was critically injured and two of her aunts died in an accident in Uttar Pradesh. The family alleged that the accident was an attempt to kill her.

The son-in-law of an Uttar Pradesh minister is among the 10 people booked for murder charges in the accident case.

UP minister Ranvendra Pratap Singh's son-in-law Arun Singh has also been named along with Sengar and eight others in the FIR registered on July 29. Arun Singh claimed on Wednesday that he was being framed.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had taken over the investigation into Sunday's truck-car collision in Rae Bareli.
Kuldeep Singh Sengar is already in jail, charged with the rape of the Unnao woman when she was a minor in 2017.
The apex court on Wednesday sought a report from its secretary general as to why a letter written by the victim to the Chief Justice, apprehending threat to her life, was not placed before him.

"Unfortunately, the letter is yet to see the light of the day and yet the newspapers flashed it as if I have read the letter," Justice Gogoi said. The observations came when senior lawyer V Giri, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae in child rape cases, sought urgent listing of the Unnao rape case.

The condition of the Unnao victim showed marginal improvement but she remained unconscious and on ventilator support, doctors at the King George Medical University in Lucknow said.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted again on the road crash, which the victim's family alleges was part of a conspiracy to deter them from pursuing the rape case against the BJP MLA.

Gandhi said the harassment of the young woman's entire family was not possible without protection from those in power.

The "strands are now coming apart" with a police cover-up and the names of ruling BJP leaders coming to the fore, she claimed. Her tweet in Hindi carried the hashtag "Unnao ki beti"(the daughter of Unnao).

Congress workers sat on a fast in Lucknow, demanding that the BJP expel the rape-accused MLA from the party, saying his mere suspension will not deter him from influencing the probe in the cases against him.

Bahujan Samaj Party president Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav also extended support to the injured woman.

"It is no secret that the accused MLA had the patronage of the ruling BJP, Mayawati tweeted in Hindi.

This is why the rape case, which is with the CBI, is pending for a long time for one reason or the other, and because of which the rape survivor today has become victim of a new mishap and is battling for life. Very Sad," she said.

In Unnao, the rape victim's aunt killed in truck-car collision was cremated on the banks of the Ganga near her village amid tight security.

Her husband Mahesh Singh, who is in jail in connection with an old case, was granted short-term bail to attend the last rites.

Her house, which is just 100 metres from Sengar's home, was surrounded by a large number of police personnel.

The administration had put up barricades at the cremation ghat and allowed only family members and close relatives near it.

Sunday's accident took place when the Unnao victim was returning after meeting her uncle in the Rae Bareli prison.

The number plate of the truck, which was coming from the opposite direction on the wrong side, was smeared with black paint, according to eyewitnesses.

The CBI team also spoke to police officers who were the first respondents after the accident was reported.

The team will also record the statements of police officers in the security cover for the woman and will ask them why they did not accompany her on Sunday when the accident took place, agency sources said.

The accident FIR was first registered by the UP Police on a complaint by Mahesh Singh.

In the FIR, Singh alleged that the family was under constant pressure from Sengar's relatives.

They had been threatening to kill the entire family if the case against him was not withdrawn, he alleged.

(With inputs from PTI and IANS)

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