Supreme Court comes to the rescue of Unnao rape survivor
The court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete the investigation of the accident involving the victim within 7 days and wind up all the other cases pertaining to the rape within 45 days.
In a huge setback to the Uttar Pradesh government, the Supreme Court has ordered the transfer of cases pertaining to the Unnao rape incident to Delhi. It has also asked the state government to pay a compensation of Rs. 25 lakh to the victim and her family.
On Wednesday, taking cognisance of the Unnao rape victim's letter, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi sought a report from the Supreme Court Secretary General on a letter sent by the victim to the court; things moved rapidly thereafter.
In barely 24 hours, the SC passed a series of orders setting an unparalleled precedent in cases of victim protection and crime investigation.
In her letter to the CJI on July 12, the 19-year-old victim whose car was rammed on Sunday by a truck killing two aunts, and injuring the victim and her advocate critically, had pleaded for protection from the main accused BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his associates.
The letter failed to reach the CJI in time.
Hearing the case on an urgent basis, the SC today ordered transfer of all 5 matters pertaining to the case to Delhi and also ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to pay an interim compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the victim and her family.
The court also asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete the investigation of the accident within 7 days and wind up the rape investigation within 45 days. It also ordered protection to the victim and her family members including the lawyer in the case who is battling for life along with the victim at King George Hospital in Lucknow. The court specifically directed central paramilitary forces to protect the victim and her advocate.
Pronouncing its order, the court asked the victim's family to decide whether to shift the victim to All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi for treatment.
Meanwhile, the ruling BJP sprung into action after the court ruling in the case. The party headquarters deputed its spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao to announce the expulsion of its MLA Kuldeep Sengar.
“We have taken action against him... the party will not tolerate such people. The BJP has never tolerated such people and it will never do so,” Rao said.
The victim has alleged that she was sexually assaulted by Sengar when she went to his house to seek a job in 2017.
After the incident, her father died in custody, arrested for alleged possession of illegal arms. Before the arrest, he was beaten up by Atul Sengar, the brother of Kuldeep Sengar, and his men. Kuldeep Sengar’s brother Atul Sengar has also been arrested and is an accused in the murder.