Supreme Court on Unnao rape case LIVE updates: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the transfer of 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.
Supreme Court on Unnao rape case LATEST Updates: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the transfer of 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.
The Supreme Court will again hear the matter tomorrow, reports have said. Issues of witness protection will also be examined by the top court tomorrow. In a crucial hearing today, CJI Ranjan Gogoi held that five cases in Unnao rape and accident must be transferred to a "competent" court in Delhi and set 45-day deadline for the trials in these cases to conclude.
The Supreme Court, pronouncing its order in the Unnao rape and accident case, held that the trial court must hear cases on a day-to-day basis and complete the same within 45 days. The top court also held that trial in four cases, which includes 29 July accident and the gangrape case, to be concluded within 45 days.
The Supreme Court also ordered protection and security for the survivor and her lawyer. CRPF has been instructed to provide security to the families. Concerned Commandant of CRPF will oversee the protection and submit a report in the Supreme Court. The apex court further ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to pay the compensation to the survivor and her family by Friday (tomorrow).
Supreme Court orders transfer of five cases in Unnao rape and accident to a "competent" court in Delhi. Supreme Court also ordered completion of the investigation into accident case in seven days. Kuldeep Singh Sengar has been charged under POCSO and the court said that the probe must be conducted in a steady manner.
King George Medical University hospital, where the Unnao rape survivor and her lawyer are being treated in Lucknow, said that their condition is critical. "Both are on ventilator. But their condition is stable. A team of experts at KGMU is treating them free of cost," the medical bulletin released by the hospital said.
The Supreme Court will pass order on transfer of all Unnao rape-related cases outside Uttar Pradesh at 2 pm today. Order on compensation to the victim and her family and also whether the victim and her lawyer should be airlifted to AIIMS will be passed at 2 pm. According to reports, CJI Ranjan Gogoi is, in fact, considering airlifting the survivor and her lawyer to AIIMS in New Delhi today if medically feasible to do so. Gogoi asked the CBI joint director to ascertain about it and inform the court. The court will pass order on matter at 2 pm today.
Realising that suspension of MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar is not enough, the BJP leadership decided to expel Sengar who is a prime accused in the Unnao rape case. According to reports, an urgent consultation held by BJP top brass in Delhi on Wednesday night with BJP leaders from Uttar Pradesh Swatantra Dev Singh and Sunil Bansal led to Sengar's expulsion. Party realises a suspension is not enough, reports further added.
A day after Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi took cognisance of the letter sent by the Unnao rape survivor, the Supreme Court of India has transferred all cases related to the Unnao incident out of Uttar Pradesh. Additionally, the court also demanded presence of a "responsible officer of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)" in the court.
The CBI officer is required to appear before the Court at 12 pm today (Thursday). The officer will have to inform the apex court of the details of the rape case as well as the accident case of 29 July, which is also being investigated by the CBI. In case the investigation details are such that they cannot be divulged in open court, then the CBI officer will be heard in chambers, Gogoi clarified, Bar and Bench reported.
According to reports, Solicitor General informed the Supreme Court bench led by the CJI that the CBI investigating officers are out of town for the probe into the Unnao case. He asked for an extension till Thursday evening, but Gogoi refused to adjourned the hearing. Gogoi said gather instructions over the phone. "CBI director can do so."
According to News18, the Supreme Court has clearly said that all cases related to the 2017 incident in Unnao, including the rape allegations, the survivor's father's imprisonment and death, the very recent truck accident which claimed the lives of two aunts of the girl (and any other related cases filed in the state), will most probably be transferred to Delhi. Reportedly, Gogoi said that all the cases will be transferred to Delhi.
On Wednesday, Gogoi sought an explanation from the Supreme Court secretary-general for the delay in placing the letter before the court. "This morning I read in the papers that the Unnao victim had written to the Supreme Court. I was informed about the letter yesterday (Tuesday). I have not yet seen the letter. It is yet to be placed before me. We try to do something constructive in the midst of this highly destructive volatile environment and this happens," said Gogoi.
File image of the Supreme Court of India. AP
The CJI also said that such cases are a reflection of the 'destructive volatile environment' and are a setback to the Supreme Court's constructive steps.
The observations came when senior advocate V Giri, who is assisting the court in a suo motu case on the alarming rise in child rapes, sought urgent hearing of the Unnao rape case.
The 19-year-old woman, who was allegedly raped two years ago by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar, was critically injured in a car crash on Sunday. A lorry without a number plate rammed into the car in which the victim was travelling. The victim and her lawyer have been critically injured, while two of her aunts passed away.
The apex court also sought the survivor's medical report and asked the Uttar Pradesh authorities to file a status report by Thursday on the accident.
Two of her family members were killed in the accident and her lawyer was seriously injured. The woman's family has filed a complaint alleging "conspiracy" behind the car crash.
A copy of the letter, written by the survivor and two of her family members, was also sent to the Allahabad High Court and Uttar Pradesh government authorities.
The letter dated 12 July claimed that some people, allegedly associated with Sengar, had threatened the survivor's family with dire consequences on 7-8 July. It also sought a direction for registration of an FIR against those who allegedly intimidated the family.
The letter, signed by the girl, her mother and aunt, stated that on 7 July, Naveen Singh, son of an accused in the case Shashi Singh, brother of another accused Kuldeep Singh, and one Kunnu Mishra had visited their house and threatened them. The next day, another person came to their house.
Along with the letter, they said, they were also annexing the video of the car in which these people had come to their house.
Arrests made so far in the case
Sengar, a four-time MLA who represents Bangermau, was arrested in 2018 for allegedly raping the teenager at his residence in 2017.
In the road accident case, an FIR was filed on 29 July. Arun Singh — the son-in-law of Uttar Pradesh minister Ranvendra Pratap Singh — was named along with Kuldeep Sengar and eight others in the FIR.
About 15 to 20 unnamed people were also mentioned in the FIR. "FIR has been registered under the Indian Penal Code's sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 506 (criminal intimidation), 120b (criminal conspiracy) against 10 named persons, including the BJP MLA, and 15-20 others," a police officer had told PTI.
With inputs from agencies