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SC Transfers Unnao Cases To Delhi

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to complete within two weeks the probe into the road crash which took place near Rae Bareli on Sunday which left the Unnao rape survivor and her lawyer severely injured. Two of the survivor's aunts were killed in the incident. In the pre-lunch session, the Court had orally observed that the probe should be completed within 7 days, rejecting the Solicitor General's request for a month's time.

The Court observed that it will order transfer of trial of four cases registered in relation to Unnao incident to Delhi. Formal orders regarding transfer were passed after the Court resumed hearing at 2 PM. The mother of the survivor had approached the top court last April seeking transfer of trial outside Uttar Pradesh citing intimidation by accused.

The Court further ordered that trial should be completed within 45 days on a day to day basis. The judge to whom the trial of the cases is to be allotted will be identified later in chambers, said CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

The rape survivor, who is battling for life in King George Hospital in Lucknow after the road crash on Sunday, should be given expert treatment at AIIMS New Delhi, subject to the wishes of the family, ordered the CJI-led bench. This was after the Solicitor General conveyed to the Court the information from hospital the Court that the survivor's medical condition allowed her to be airlifted to be Delhi.

Th Court further directed the UP Government to pay Rs. 25 lakhs compensation to the rape survivor by Friday. The survivor, her family members and her lawyer Mahendra Singh should be given security by CRPF, added the Court.

The Standing Counsel of UP government has been directed to inform if Mahesh Singh, the uncle of the survivor who is lodged in Rae Bareli jail, should be moved out to Delhi on account of security threat.

The Court has also ordered an internal probe by the Secretary General under the supervision of a sitting SC judge on whether any lapse by registry has occurred while delaying the forwarding of letter by survivor's family to the CJI.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the Court that altogether four cases were registered in relation to Unnao incident.

First was the case for rape of the girl allegedly committed by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar. Another case has been registered for the gang rape of the survivor, which was allegedly committed a week after the crime by BJP legislator.

Then a case under Arms Act was registered against the father of the survivor. He died in police custody after he was arrested in that case. The mother of the survivor has filed a complaint that his death was due to custodial torture, and the fourth case is registered in respect of this.

The UP Government referred the road crash incident for CBI investigation and Kuldeep Singh Sengar, the prime accused in the rape case, has been booked for murder and criminal conspiracy in connection with the accident.

Yesterday, the Court had decided to consider the Unnao tragedy on the judicial side, on the basis of the letter sent to CJI Ranjan Gogoi by the family of the Unnao rape survivor seeking protection from threats and intimidation by the accused.

The CJI had also sought a report from the Secretary General as to why the letter sent on July 12 was not brought to his notice until Tuesday afternoon.

"Unfortunately, I was informed about the letter yesterday and I am yet to see it. Newspapers have reported as if no action was taken by the CJI.We will try to do something about this highly volatile situation. List the matter tomorrow", the CJI said.

In the letter dated July 12, the rape survivor's family complained that they were facing threats and intimidation from henchmen engaged by the accused and pleaded for providing adequate security. The letter stated that it was annexing a video-recording of the criminal intimidation and the photographs of the aggressors.

The allegation is that Sengar, a four-time MLA who represents Bangermau in the UP assembly, raped the teenage girl at his home in 2017. Sengar was arrested on April 13, 2018, after the rape survivor held protests outside Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's residence in Lucknow.

Before that, her father was arrested and sent to jail in connection with an Arms Act case and died in custody, allegedly due to torture. A key witness in the case died months later, under mysterious circumstances. The uncle of the survivor is lodged in jail, and the tragedy on Sunday happened when the survivor and family had gone to meet him.

Source: LiveLaw

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