Former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar has been convicted in the 2017 Unnao rape case by the Tis Hazari court in Delhi. District Judge Dharmesh Sharma convicted Sengar of rape under the Indian Penal Code and POCSO Act for the offence of a public servant committing penetrative sexual assault against a child. Sengar, a four-time MLA from UP's Bangermau, was expelled from the BJP in August 2019.
Sharma, however, acquitted co-accused Shashi Singh of all charges. Sharma pronouncing the verdict, rapped the CBI for the "inordinate delay in the case", News18 reported. The court will hear arguments on quantum of sentence on Tuesday, as per Bar and Bench. The offences entail maximum punishment of life imprisonment. The survivor was kidnapped and raped by Sengar in 2017 when she was a minor, the court ruled. The trial in the high profile case was held in-camera after the Supreme Court transferred the matter from Unnao to the National Capital.
According to Bar and Bench, the court, while convicting Senar, rejected his alibi that he was not present at the place of the crime. The court observed that as per Sengar's mobile record, he was at such a distance from crime scene which was "easily coverable". The court also rejected the defence objections that the crime was reported much later and that it was orchestrated by the survivor's uncle. The court observed that the survivor did not "utter any word" in view of the threat to her life and her family.
The court had on 9 August framed charges against Sengar and Singh under sections 120 b (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 judge heard the case on a day-to-day basis from 5 August after it was transferred to Delhi from a court in Lucknow on Supreme Court's directions. On 28 July, the car of the survivor was hit by a truck and she was severely injured. The woman's two aunts were killed in the accident and her family had alleged foul play. Her father was allegedly framed in an illegal arms case and arrested on 3 April, 2018. He died while in judicial custody a few days later, on 9 April.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Dec 16, 2019 17:22:34 IST