SC nominates Deepak Gupta to hear matters in Unnao rape case: Judge was part of bench which ruled 'sex with minor wife is rape'

The Supreme Court has nominated Justice Deepak Gupta to hear the matters related to the 2017 Unnao rape case on 5 August (Monday). The decision was take when a Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi-led bench, also comprising justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, was hearing the case on Friday.

FP Staff August 02, 2019 22:13:25 IST
SC nominates Deepak Gupta to hear matters in Unnao rape case: Judge was part of bench which ruled 'sex with minor wife is rape'
  • The Supreme Court has nominated Justice Deepak Gupta to hear the matters related to the 2017 Unnao rape case on 5 August

  • Gupta, a Delhi University alumni, became the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court in 2016

  • He was elevated as a Supreme Court judge in February, 2017

The Supreme Court has nominated Justice Deepak Gupta to hear the matters related to the 2017 Unnao rape case on 5 August (Monday).

The decision was take when a Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi-led bench, also comprising justices Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, was hearing the case on Friday. The 19-year-old rape survivor and her lawyer were critically injured, and two of her aunt were killed in an accident on 28 July.

Who is Justice Deepak Gupta?

SC nominates Deepak Gupta to hear matters in Unnao rape case Judge was part of bench which ruled sex with minor wife is rape

Justice Deepak Gupta. Image courtesy: sci.gov.in

According to the Supreme Court website, Gupta is a Delhi University alumni who has served as a judge in the Himachal Pradesh High Court. He has also been the Acting Chief Justice of the high court in the past, and headed the green bench of the high court for three years.

He has also served as the executive chairman of the Himachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority and the president of the Himachal Pradesh Judicial Academy, Shimla.

In 2013, he took oath as the first Chief Justice of the High Court of Tripura, and later became the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court in 2016. He was elevated as a Supreme Court judge in February, 2017.

The same year, a bench comprising Gupta and Justice Madan B Lokur had passed the landmark judgment that sexual intercourse with wives between 15 and 18 years of age will be considered to be rape.

Gupta, who had written a separate but concurrent verdict, said the age of marriage was 18 in all laws and the exception given in the rape law under the IPC is "capricious, arbitrary and violates the rights of a girl child". The verdict had come on a plea challenging the validity of an exception clause in the rape law that permits intercourse or sexual act by a man with his wife, not below 15 years.

The Unnao case

The Supreme Court said on Friday that the Unnao rape survivor's family, which wants her to be treated at Lucknow hospital as of now, is at liberty to take a call on shifting her to AIIMS in Delhi.

The apex court made the statement after taking note of a statement made by senior advocate V Giri that the survivor is unconscious and on ventilator, and her family has expressed that she be treated at the Lucknow hospital for the time being. Giri is assisting the court as amicus curiae in the matter.

The top court took up the matter on Thursday, a day after Gogoi expressed surprise over the registry not placing the survivor's letter dated 12 July before him. The top court then ordered the immediate transfer of trials of all five cases related to the Unnao rape case, from an Uttar Pradesh court to a court in Delhi.

The woman, allegedly raped by Uttar Pradesh MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in 2017 when she was a minor, is currently battling for life. Her family has alleged that the collision was a deliberate attempt to kill her by those close to the MLA.

The BJP, which claimed that Sengar was suspended in 2018 by the state unit, expelled Sengar on Wednesday following outrage. Sengar, a four-time legislator who represents Bangermau in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, is the main accused in the rape case and has been lodged in jail since April, 2018.

The CBI, which has taken over the investigation into Sunday's road accident, has booked 10 people for murder, including Sengar.

With inputs from agencies

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