Four-time BJP MLA (who was eventually expelled from the party) has been convicted of rape, kidnapping, and intimidating, of a 17-year-old girl from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh in 2017.
Dharmesh Sharma, a district and sessions court judge, heard the case at Delhi’s Tis Hazari court daily, from August 5 onwards, once it was transferred to Delhi from a Lucknow court on the Supreme Court’s directions. He convicted the expelled BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, for rape and kidnapping of a 17-year-old girl from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh.
“In my considered opinion this investigation has suffered from patriarchal approach or inherent outlook to brush the issue of sexual violence against the children under the carpet… apart from exhibiting lack of sensitivity and humane approach,” the verdict read.
However, another accused in the Unnao rape case, Shashi Singh, who was accused of taking the Unnao rape survivor to Kuldeep Singh Sengar, was acquitted by the court on “benefit of the doubt.”
The court said, “Don’t know why CBI took so much time to file the charge sheet in the gangrape case,” and also found the testimony of the Unnao rape case survivor to be “Truthful, unblemished, and of sterling quality.”
The judge charged Sengar and the others for the offences under section 363 (kidnapping), section 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc.), section 376 (rape) and alternative charges section 5 (c) (whoever being a public servant commits penetrative sexual assault on a child) read with section 6 (punishment for aggravated penetrative assault) of the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The sentencing has been scheduled for tomorrow, and the convict is liable to a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. The maximum punishment that a convict can entail for the offence of murder under section 302 of IPC is death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
“The investigation has not been conducted by a woman officer, as mandated by POCSO Act, and successive statements (were) recorded by calling her to CBI office without bothering about harassment, anguish, and re-victimization that occurs to a victim of sexual assault,” the Judge declared.
The court found Sengar and others guilty of conspiring to murder the father of the survivor. He was beaten up before being put behind the bars, where he died of his injuries. The court found the murder of the father “a part of a larger conspiracy to deter, silence and prevent the father from pursuing the complaint” in the rape case of his 17-year-old daughter in 2017.
The rape complaint was registered only last year, after she protested outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s home, and threatened to set herself on fire if she was not heard.